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(gornell Untwecsttg Ethtarg 

atl^aca, Jfevn Matk 

FROM THE 

BENNO LOEWY LIBRARY 

COLLECTED BY 

BENNO LOEWY 

18B4-I919 
BEQUEATHED TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY 



Cornell University Library 
ML 385.B11 



Brother musicians reminiscences of Edwa 




3 1924 022 412 922 




FRANCIS EDWARD BACHE AS a BOV 
P'-O'n a P,„c,l Skchh ij His A,u„, J/,„ ^,v„„,„„ 



BROTHER MUSICIANS 

REMINISCENCES OF 
EDWARD AND WALTER BACHE 



CONSTANCE BACHE 



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-' J-J I j ■' I j 



W=^ 



rare thet well , fare thet ukU, dear heartl' 



WITH SIXTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON 
METHUEN & CO. 

NEW YORK 
JAMES POTT & CO. 

igoi 



TO 

THE FRIEND OF BOTH BROTHERS 

Mr. a. J. HIPKINS 

IN ACK.NOWLEDOMENT OF HIS 

INVALUABLE HELP AND ENCOURAGEMENT 

THIS VOLUME IS 

AFFECTIONATELY AND GRATEFULLY DEDICATED 



PREFACE 

\^7'^EN Edward Bache died, some forty years 
ago, his family were importuned to bring 
out a detailed memoir of his life. They felt at 
that time that the family of any distinguished 
man are not the people who ought to publish 
his biography. 

But now that nearly half a century has passed 
since his brief but brilliant career closed, and more 
than a decade since his brother Walter followed 
him, it is thought that some short account of the 
two men — of what they did, and of their com- 
parative influence on their own day and genera- 
tion — may, no matter from whose pen, be of 
interest to the present rising generation, to say 
nothing of the remnant still left of those who 
knew Edward personally, and of the many who 
have worked alongside of Walter for the advance- 
ment and ennobling of their art. 

It was with this view that I decided to become 



viii PREFACE 

my brothers' biographer ; though, in order to 
give, as far as possible, an unbiassed character to 
the volume, I had originally intended to bring it 
out anonymously. It has not been possible to 
carry out this intention, but I nevertheless think 
it best to adhere to the form in which it was 
written, as tending to impart a less personal and 
less intimate character to the narrative. 

C. B. 
London, 1901 



CONTENTS 





PART I 




I. 


FRANCIS EDWARD BACHE 
London 


VAGE 

I 


II. 


Leipzig 


i8 


III. 


England 


S3 


IV. 


Algiers 


6i 


V. 


Paris — Leipzig 


71 


VI. 


Rome — England — The End 

Extracts from Letters written by Francis 


91 




Edward Bache 


103 




Published Music of Francis Edward Bache 


126 



PART II 

WALTER BACHE 

I. Leipzig 129 

II. Leipzig i34 

III. Leipzig 140 

IV. Italy H7 



CONTENTS 



VI. Rome 



PAGE 



V. Rome - i6i 



172 



VII. London i5 



219 



VIII. London 

IX. London and Bayreuth 235 

X. London 253- 

XI. Liszt's Last Visit to England 283 

XII. Bayreuth — London — The End 302 

Chronological Table of all the Orchestral 
Works of Liszt given at Walter Bache's 
Concerts j22 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Francis Edward Bache as a Boy. {From a -pencil sketch 

by his Aunt, Miss Higginson) ' Frontispiece 

James Stimpson Facing page 4 

William Sterndale Bennett „ 6 

Francis Edward Bache ,, 18 

MoRiTZ Hauptmann ,, 21 

Johann Schneider ,, 35 

Alfred Mellon „ 38 

Francis Edward Bache ,, 90 



Memorial Window 



103 



Walter Bache as a Child. {From a pencil sketch by his 

Aunt, Miss Higginson) Facing page 129 

Walter Bache as a Youth ,, 134 

Franz Liszt „ 161 

The Working Men's Society „ 200 

BuLOW, Buonamici and Bache „ 206 

Lines to Liszt „ 290 

Walter Bache - - - „ 318 



BROTHER MUSICIANS 
PART I 

FRANCIS EDWARD BACHE 

" Thy leaf has perish'd in the green. 

And, while we breathe beneath the sun. 
The world, which credits what is done, 
Is cold to all that might have been." 

In Memoriam. 

TT is now forty-three years since Edward Bache's 
brief but brilliant career closed in death. 
His life and that of his younger brother Walter 
together cover a period of unusual interest and 
importance in the history of Music. 

Francis Edward and Walter Bache, though 
brothers, were almost more like father and son as 
regards their artistic day and generation. Edward's 
planet was setting ere Walter's star had risen ; the 
elder brother lay on his death-bed as the younger 
was just being launched on his musical career. 
This will explain much in the following pages that 



2 F. EDWARD BACHE [1846 

might otherwise seem strange, in the diametrically 
opposed views held by the two brothers. 

The nine years' difference in age which separated 
these two, slight as it seems when regarded from 
the hill-top of middle-life, was nevertheless a por- 
tentous interval. It represents far more than the 
diversity in years. It represents a complete revolu- 
tion in musical ideas and requirements ; an upheaval 
of ancient traditions ; a new language for an old. 

Thus, at the time when Edward was beginning 
his artistic career, Mendelssohn was, in England 
as in Germany, the idol of the hour. He had 
just brought forth, and conducted at the memorable 
Birmingham Festival of 1846, his "Elijah," the 
work which, above all else, formed the culminating 
point of his fame. As a pupil of the late Alfred 
Mellon,^ at that time conductor of the orchestra 
at the Birmingham Theatre Royal, young Bache, 
a boy of thirteen, played among the violins in 
the orchestra on that occasion ; was — like his 
parents — deeply imbued with the artistic and 
picturesque grandeur of the work, as well as with 
the magnetic charm of the composer himself We 
in our day can hardly realize what this latter must 
have been. Other great composers have been over 
here since then, have conducted their own works, 

^ Alfred Mellon; b. Birmingham 1820 ; violinist, com- 
poser and operatic conductor in London ; d. 1867. 



1849] LONDON 3 

and have reaped fame and laurels on our hospitable 
shores ; but never surely was there such z. furore^ 
such a Schwdrmerei, for any personality as for that 
of the genial, suave and charming Mendelssohn. 

That the worship was overdone — that his 
example, musically, may be said to have done 
almost as much harm as good — all this is now 
ancient history. But, at the time when he came, 
he brought a tender, quickening and ennobling 
message from the world of genius, and it is no 
wonder that the world of matter was literally 
carried by storm. 

Even long before Mendelssohn's advent, there 
was no possibility of a doubt in the minds of 
Francis Edward Bache's parents as to the career 
their son should adopt. When only a few months 
old — he was born on the 14th September, 1833 — 
he would lie on the floor, perfectly contented if 
his mother were at the piano. From her he in- 
herited his great gift of Music ; and her delicate 
touch and refined musical taste exercised, even in 
these baby years, the most powerful influence over 
him. At the age of eighteen months he had 
already learnt to ask for the Hallelujah Chorus, 
and to fetch the volume containing it, and by the 
time he was three years old he wanted Beethoven's 
Pastoral Symphony, which was for some time his 
daily food. By four years old he was beginning 



F. EDWARD BACHE 



[1849 



to practise the piano ; but he long objected to dis- 
cords, which, like wine, are an acquired taste. At 
seven he heard his first Oratorio, "Israel in Egypt," 
with an emotion which he could hardly control. 

At an early date, some time before he studied 
under Mr. Bennett^ (of which more shortly), but 
after the hearing of " Elijah," he wrote, as an 
exercise for his master, Mr. Stimpson^ of Birming- 
ham, an Organ Fugue the subject of which was as 
follows : — 







i^^ljEl^-^ 



i^^^^i 



i^m 



1 Sir William Sterndale Bennett; b. 1 8 16; Professor; 
composer ; Principal of R. A. of Music ; founder of the 
Bach Society; d. 1875. 

^ James Stimpson, 1820-1886; Professor; organist of Town 
Hall, Birmingham ; founder of the Festival Choral Society 
there ; editor of " The Organist's Standard Library." 




JAMES STIMPSON 



1849] 



LONDON 



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This Fugue is quoted with a double purpose ; 
firstly, as showing what a bold, flowing subject 
this youth of sixteen had composed ; and secondly, 
on account of its similarity in character to a certain 
Fugato, written long afterwards, the composer of 
which did not disdain to employ it as the opening 



6 F. EDWARD BACHE [1849 

motive of his overture to a now highly esteemed 
opera.^ 



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— J — m-I—* :y — m-J — ■ — • ■ 






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In 1849, at the age of sixteen, he was placed 
under the late Mr. (afterwards Sir Sterndale) 
Bennett in London, with whom he studied com- 
position for three to four years, during which 
time he also gave music lessons, and took the post 
of organist in a church besides. He was then 
sharing lodgings with his cousin, the late Mr. 
Russell Martineau, M.A. ; and there is no doubt 
that the economies the two young fellows practised 
— trying to live on nothing a day, and thrive on 
it — sowed the seeds of his cousin's delicate health, 
and of the fatal disease to which Edward suc- 
cumbed. Bache was the eldest of a large family ; 
his father, a leading Unitarian minister in Birming- 
ham, had to supplement the very inadequate 
pittance usually paid to ministers in those days by 
school-teaching, or rather by taking boarders for 
the Proprietary School to which his own five sons 
1 Smetana's Overture to " Die verkaufte Braut." 




WILLIAM STFRXnALE BI^^'^'F:TT 



^3tf i Pi**-- ** ' 






1 849-31] LONDON 7 

went.^ The rigid economy young Bache now 
practised, and the scrupulous conscientiousness of 
his youthful account-keeping, show how manfully 
he was determined to lessen, as far as possible, the 
burden falling upon his parents' shoulders. 

A close friendship with the late Mr. Alfred 
Foster Barham of Bridgwater, which continued 
uninterrupted until Bache's death, gave rise to 
many intimate letters, from which permission to 
quote has been given. 

Just settled in London, he writes to his friend 
(and occasional mentor, Mr. Barham being some 
years his senior) : — 

I think with you that it does one a great deal 
of good to have to leave home, in more than one 
way. Firstly one feels how very slight were all 
the little annoyances and vexations which you 
speak of as experienced in the course of a home 
life, compared with, I may almost say, the absence 
of the same ; at all events compared with the 
general round of little kindnesses which one receives 

1 Amongst the most noteworthy of the boys who passed 
under the Rev. Samuel Bache's care may be mentioned the 
Right Hon. W. C. Gully, M.P., the present Speaker of the 
House of Commons ; Mr. W. B. Bowring, late Lord Mayor 
of Liverpool ; Mr. David Martineau ; the late Mr. J. C. 
Addyes Scott ; Dr. William J. Russell, F.R.S. ; Mr. Henry P. 
Cobb, M.P. ; the late Mr. Charles Flower, of Shakespeare- 
Memorial-Theatre fame ; a young cousin of Lady Byron, and 
many others. 



8 F. EDWARD BACHE [1851 

at home, and does not miss till deprived of them. 
Secondly, in a worldly point of view, it shows one 
what one's father and mother must be continually 
doing to bring one up, and how very easy it is to 
spend money, and how difficult to get it, etc. 

A month later he meets Catherine Hayes : — 
" Catherine Hayes is very beautiful, albeit her 
hair is as red as a lobster, boiled of course," 

How taste has changed! Today we should 
strike out the word " albeit." 

On January 21, 1 8 5 1 , he made his first appear- 
ance in public, in a concert given by himself and 
the late Mr. Carrodus^ at Keighley in Yorkshire. 
" I accompanied young Carrodus," he writes to a 
friend, " in a Rondo and slow movement of Men- 
delssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, and in a 
solo by Sivori," and so on. I quote this sentence 
as showing that Mendelssohn's great cheval de 
bataille had already begun to prance, and that 
even in those early days Mr. Carrodus knew how 
to handle him. 

About this time Bache began to publish, and 

his " Three Impromptus " were the first work to 

appear in print, though his " Overture to Jessie 

Gray " had previously been given at the Adelphi 

Theatre. 

1 John T. Carrodus, 1836-1895 ; distinguished London 
violinist ; pupil of Molique. 



i85i] LONDON 9 

Then followed a spell of serious illness from 
overwork, necessitating a rest of some weeks at 
home. With health restored he returned to town, 
and m the autumn took up his abode for a time 
with Mr. Alfred Mellon in Long Acre. Here 
he was encouraged by Mr. Mellon to write an 
opera, for which the latter somewhere found him 
a libretto. Apropos of this subject, he writes to 
his parents : — 

134, Long Acre, 

November 26, 1851. 

I will first tell you what is being done about my 
operetta. You know what a very bad libretto it 
was, bad enough to spoil any music. . . . 

During the past fortnight I have been intro- 
duced to Mr. Palgrave Simpson^ (the gentleman 
who writes such beautiful librettos) ; he gave me 
a libretto at once with the utmost kindness for me 
to work upon at some future time ; it being the 
libretto of a three-act grand romantic opera. 
Meanwhile he heard that I had written an opera 
called " Which is Which " for the Haymarket, and 
desired to hear the music and see the piece. So I 
played him the music and he read the libretto ; 
when he said to me that he considered the libretto 
utterly unfit for stage representation ; but was so 
kindly pleased with my music, that he offered to 
write an entirely new piece to my music, which I 

1 J. Palgrave Simpson, a well-known librettist and theatrical 

writer. 



lo F. EDWARD BACHE [1852 

think was an oiFer of very great kindness, coming 
from a man at the head of his profession, and 
three times my age, to a young beginner. 

To his friend Mr. Barham, February 29, 1852, 
he says : — 

I like Mr. Mellon better the more I know of 
him ; he and Robert Pratten^ are quite exceptions 
to the general run of musical people I have met 
with. You will see that one of my pieces is 
dedicated to R. Pratten in token of gratitude for 
the numerous kindnesses he has done me, as it is 
through him that I am getting on at all; he 
having introduced me to the publishers, etc. 

To the same, December 31, 1852: — 

I was introduced to Arabella Goddard^ the 
other night, and hope to dedicate a piece to her 
as soon as I write one which I think worthy of her 
unrivalled mechanism. I intend to pitch into 
German like a nigger as soon as our Christmas 
festivities are over, as I wish to have a good 
knowledge of the language before going abroad. 

The AthencBum, commenting on a certain concert 
in its issue of June 19, 1852, has the following : — 

This concert, too, had further the attraction 
of an important and interesting work of a young 

1 R. Sidney Pratten, 1824-1868 ; distinguished flautist in 
London, and composer for his own instrument. 

2 Madame Arabella Goddard, a distinguished English 
pianist. 



1852] LONDON 1 1 

English composer, Mr. Bache, who has been 
already mentioned in the Athenceum as an object 
of some hope. This, to say the least of matters, 
will not be disappointed by his Allegro of a MS. 
Pianoforte Concerto which was performed by him- 
self. A better first appearance we have seldom 
met with. A taste for what is sweet, solid, grace- 
ful and unhackneyed is evidenced throughout this 
Allegro. It is not frivolous, but neither grimly 
gloomy, nor a copy of Mendelssohn, — praise which 
can be nowadays too rarely given ; — a movement, 
in short, not beneath the playing of any player, 
and which in almost any concert might be listened 
to with pleasure. 

To judge from this essay, we have met with 
no Englishman more likely to give us the English 
composer for whom we have so long been waiting 
than Mr. Bache, for whose future appearances we 
shall watch with interest. 

The italics are editorial, and are inserted to 
draw attention to an opinion that has been fre- 
quently expressed, that if Edward Bache had lived 
to maturity he would have been that English com- 
poser so long waited for. 

It is like going back to those traditional days 
when (we are told) such singers existed as " will 
never be heard again," to read of the caste for "Don 
Giovanni " at Covent Garden about this time, which 
included Grisi and Mario, Formes, Tamburini, 
etc. ; and at Her Majesty's, wrote Bache, " in a 



12 F. EDWARD BACHE [1853 

new opera by Halevy, founded on Shakepeare's 
'Tempest,' and entitled 'La Tempesta.' The 
libretto is by Scribe, and I think is most beau- 
tiful. The music is very good, I think, though 
perhaps not quite classical ; it is infinitely superior 
to Donizetti, Bellini, Meyerbeer, etc. The great 
attraction, however, was the singing and acting — 
Lablache was Caliban, Sontag Miranda, and Car- 
lotta Grisi danced and acted Ariel. I never ap- 
preciated C. Grisi's talent before ; there is none of 
the conventional ballet-dancing in the part of Ariel, 
but her exquisite dancing is made subservient to 
her acting the part properly. I think it was the 
finest acting I have ever seen ; all dumb-show, of 
course." 

A letter to his cousin Mr. Russell Martineau 
about this time explains the position of his mind 
and his difficulties, owing to want of health and 
want of funds : — 

February 20, 1853. 

Dear Cousin Russell, 

I have not answered your letter before 
as I have felt a desire when I did write to write a 
long letter about my exact professional views, in 
answer to your last letter, which I fully appreciate, 
though I do not altogether agree with it. . . . 

I will now go, with your leave, to a little 
explanation of my musical wishes and doings as 
seemingly opposed to one another. Last Easter 
twelvemonth, twenty-one months ago, I had a 



i8s3] LONDON 13 

serious illness which obliged me to leave London 
altogether. I then, you remember, came to Bir- 
mingham, and for three months did nothing but 
recover my strength. In that three months I 
thought a good deal about art, and I found that I 
must make my art more practical before I could 
succeed ; in fact that I must not only try to write 
cleverly and in a certain form for my master to 
see, but must also try to invest my compositions 
with a sentiment which should appeal to people's 
hearts and understandings. I then wrote another 
P. F. Concerto and a Violin Quartett and several 
other pieces which were more calculated for real 
performance than what I had done before. Then 
I found myself utterly without money and means 
of continuing my education ; papa had few pupils, 
and I did not like to apply to him to send me to 
London again. Just then came a commission for 
a P. F., which took me up to London for a little 
time. Then Mr. Mellon renewed his interest in 
me, and gave me the book of an opera to work 
upon for the Haymarket Theatre. I came down 
to Birmingham and worked two months at this 
opera, which I then took up to London finished. 
I must now specify that at this time my knowledge 
consisted only of classical forms of composition 
and of classical piano music ; I had no knowledge 
of the stage and no idea of conducting ; and the 
orchestra I as yet only knew theoretically. When 
I went up with this opera ready, Mr. Mellon said 
that if I would stay in London he would give me 
an engagement at the theatre till I could get 



14 F. EDWARD BACHE [1853 

better business. I then (November 1851) came 
up to live with Mr. Mellon, and employed my 
time in working at another operetta by Mr. Pal- 
grave Simpson (who was so pleased with my first 
attempt that he kindly gave me a beautiful book 
to work upon). Also I wrote two or three little 
piano pieces, which were published at Campbell 
and Ransford's. After Christmas I returned to 
town, and then began again to think of my project 
of going abroad, which for the last three years has 
been uppermost in my wishes. Luckily I obtained 
some good teaching as deputy for a gentleman out 
of health. I also played frequently in the operas at 
the Haymarket, thereby increasing my knowledge 
of the stage, and becoming used to play to a con- 
ductor, which is the most useful step towards be- 
coming a conductor myself Addison^ then offered 
me a yearly engagement, to look over proofs, etc., 
and write piano pieces for them. Of course I 
accepted, as, through being connected with such a 
house, I should subsequently get position and 
teaching. Also the money would be an object, 
as I was desirous of getting every penny I could 
towards going abroad. In the midst of all this 
work I wrote my Piano Concerto in E, under the 
disadvantages of little leisure and being in the 
same house with Hausmann practising the violon- 
cello. I got out of health at Midsummer and 
returned home to Birmingham, with my head full 
of a Flute Concerto for Robert Pratten, which I 
have never had out of my head from that time to 

1 Of the firm of Addison, Hollier and Lucas, for whom 
he did much work. 



1853] LONDON 1 5 

this, but have always given my leisure thoughts 
to. I have found excessive difficulty in its com- 
position, as I do not wish it to be like ordinary 
flute music ; but to be good music and yet nice 
for the flute. As soon as it is finished I think of 
doing a Pianoforte Sonata. Mind you, these first 
works take me much more time and trouble than 
the same kind of things will do afterwards ; as I 
shall have to make my reputation by them or not 
at all, whereas, when one is accepted as an original 
thinker, then one may begin to write more at 
one's ease ; I do not of course mean more care- 
lessly ; but I feel a consciousness of having many 
ideas which would not do at first, till preceded by 
other things more in accordance with the standard 
models. Now concerning publishing a Concerto 
or other heavy work at present, this is the state of 
the case. I am dependent almost entirely for my 
prospect of going abroad on my engagement at 
Addison's ; now if I print a Concerto at present 
it would be a dead weight on their shelves, and 
would lower my marketable value ; moreover, I 
wish to play my Concerto several times more in 
public and see what effect it produces, before I 
decide on publishing it at all. 

My ideas then are these. Before I leave England, 
to print one carefully written Piano Sonata so that 
people may see that I did not learn everything in 
Germany. Then, while I am in Germany, to 
supply Addison's with a light P. F. piece every 
now and then, in order to earn a salary from their 
house, while I am devoting all my energy to im- 



1 6 F. EDWARD BACHE [1853 

proving in classical composition. Then I should 
hope to return to London in a year or two with 
two or three classical chamber compositions which 
I could fairly rest my claims upon ; then it will be 
for me to think whether I shall write any more 
light piano music or not. Meanwhile what I have 
written will get me pupils ; which the finest classical 
music would not be so likely to do. I must tell 
you that now I take infinitely more pleasure in 
classical music than I ever did before, and that I 
am studying Mozart's and Beethoven's Symphonies 
in score most earnestly. 

Now concerning the light piano music, I think 
you rather wrong it. I must say that I would 
rather be a writer like SchulhoiF than like Silas, 
because SchulhofFhas marked originality and beauty 
though in a light style, whereas Silas is at present 
not marked by any distinctive feature, though his 
music is solid and clever. In this also have I 
found the difference since I began to write for 
reality. I have now to spend infinitely more time 
over shaping a movement or turning a passage 
than I had to do when I merely wrote to show to 
Mr. Bennett, as I know how severely a new com- 
poser is tried by critics, connoisseurs, etc., who 
will often overlook beauties in their wish to find 
a fault. I have never taken so much pains with 
anything as with this Flute Concerto which I 
think is quite my best work yet. One word for 
my poor abused light pieces : I have really taken 
as much pains about them as I could about a 
Sonata. People who know nothing of music say 



1853] LONDON 17 

to me, " We like your pieces so much, Mr. Bache, 
because there seems to be exactly what ought to 
be in each part and no stop-gap or nonsensical 
filling-in." They are not aware that that is the 
result of many hours' thought, as I often sit a 
whole morning and write not a bar and obstinately 
reject everything till I feel I have got the right. 
Excuse my saying this, but I only do it in self- 
defence, not out of any conceit about such trifles. 
But I must say that I would sooner have written 
my Galop di Bravura than many a Sonata which 
is only printed to lie on the shelf a dead weight 
on account of deficiency of anything like idea. 



11 

LEIPZIG 
1853 

T EIPZIG ! That magic name ! At the time 
of which I am writing it was the Mecca of 
every young musical aspirant, the Parnassus of his 
ambition. It was just in the zenith of its fame, 
i.e., under the asgis of Mendelssohn's great name, at 
the time that Mr. and Mrs. Bache began to enter- 
tain the idea of placing their son under his im- 
mediate personal care. But the death of the great 
Master, not very long after his visit to Birming- 
ham, put an end to this hope. It did not, how- 
ever, alter the prospect of Edward's going there ; 
and, as intimated in a letter already quoted, he 
was busy preparing himself, by a study of the 
language, for the contemplated change. 

He had gone through his school-years with 
satisfaction and even with distinction, having been 
head-boy in mathematics, for which he gained the 
medal ; second in German ; and first, with another 
boy, in French. 




FRANCIS EDWARD BACHE AT THE AGE OF 19 
(Fro»i a Daguerreotype) 



1853] LEIPZIG 19 

He had gone through his apprenticeship in 
London with equal satisfaction to his teachers and 
friends there. Mr. Bennett had an almost paternal 
affection for him, and of all his pupils Bache is 
believed to have been the nearest to his heart. It 
is certain that he trod in his musically-adopted 
father's steps : the influence of the teacher was 
noticeable in all the compositions of young Bache's 
London years, and what could the paternal heart 
of Mr. Bennett desire more ? 

In this connection Mr. J. R. Sterndale Bennett, 
son of the late Sir Sterndale Bennett, in a letter to 
Miss (Margaret) Bache in 1899, says: — 

I have a remembrance of your brother Edward in 
our drawing-room at Russell Place. I was always 
brought up to understand that he was my father's 
most important pupil. I remember also the walks 
we took with our nurse to make inquiries when 
he was ill, the street, the house, etc., where he 
lived, and the seriousness with which our reports 
were received on our return home ; and I feel sure 
that the premature end to such a promising life 
was deeply felt by my parents, or I could not have 
preserved even such memories as I have done of 
the sad time. An uncle, a younger brother of my 
mother's whom I had not seen for many years, 
was in my house the other day, and we naturally 
talked of old times. He knows nothing of music 
or the musical world, having been a clergyman in 



20 F. EDWARD BACHE [1853 

remote villages all his life, and he startled me by 
asking about your brother. He told me what a 
remarkable young man he was, how his whole 
bearing, his grand forehead, his intellectual ex- 
pression, made him the subject of remark and 
inquiry in any society when he appeared; how no 
one who saw him could for one moment fail to 
recognise that he was richly endowed with mental 
gifts. 

He had tried his wings in opera, in which he 
was fathered by such able men as Alfred Mellon 
and Palgrave Simpson. 

It now remained for him to go through the 
deep waters of Leipzig pedagogy — of that Leipzig 
which was the city of Bach, if also the haunt of 
Mendelssohn. 

Leaving England in the autumn of 1853 he 
soon made himself a place in the circle of young 
men, English and others, then studying in Leipzig, 
and one of his first letters to his parents contains 
the following : — 

October 24, 1853. 

Today I have seen Sigismund Schwann, who 
has been here now for a year. He wishes par- 
ticularly to be remembered to you. . . . Also 
there is at Leipzig Dickens's son, who is a friend 
of Schwann. . . . Russell Taplin has introduced 
me to a very nice friend, who is waiting like 




MOEITZ HAUPTMANN 



1853] LEIPZIG 21 

myself for private lessons from Herr Hauptmann.^ 
This young man's name is Francesco Berger;^ 
his parents live in London, but his mother is 
German and his father Italian. He speaks equally 
well all three languages, having just been in Italy 
four years studying music. He is the cleverest 
young musician I have ever yet met with, and will 
be of the greatest use to me. So you see I have 
already plenty of company. 

To HIS Parents. 

Leipzig, 

November 20, 1853. 

I have had also two lessons from Herr Haupt- 
mann ; of course yet I have not done much that 
is new with him, as I must first go through what 
I have learnt; and now again I feel how many 
thanks are owing to Mr. Stimpson for the excellent 
foundation he gave me in counterpoint, in which 
I am sure he is as good a master as possible. The 
reason that I do not allude to Mr. Bennett's in- 
structions is that they were not so much in counter- 
point as in composition, which I will not now 
pursue under any master at all; so that my object 
with Herr Hauptmann is to continue and perfect 
those studies which I commenced with Mr. Stimp- 
son. I only explain this that you may not think 

1 Moritz Hauptmann, 1 792- 1 868 ; one of the most 
celebrated theorists and contrapuntists of his day ; director 
of the Thomas-Schule in Leipzig. 

' Mr. Francesco Berger, a well-known London Professor 
and composer ; Hon. Sec. of the Philharmonic Society. 



22 F. EDWARD BACHE [1853 

I undervalue Mr. Bennett's most valuable instruc- 
tions, but they were in a different branch. 

The last Gewandhaus concert vi^as much nicer 
than any of the preceding ones ; they played a 
Symphony of Beethoven, and were quite in their 
element. It is quite a different thing to hear 
them play German music, and French or Italian. 
In German music, from Beethoven's Symphonies 
to Strauss's Waltzes (which are to my taste perfect 
works of art as far as they go) they play beauti- 
fully ; but in Italian and French they don't appear 
to understand it at all — I even think that Men- 
delssohn's music would be better played in England 
than here, but not the other German music. 

I have several nice acquaintances here. There 
are Taplin and Berger (the young Englishman I 
have told you about before), then Schwann and 
his cousins and young Dickens ; all English. 
Then Messrs. Perkins and Parker, the two first 
Americans I knew here, and since then six more, 
all very nice fellows, and most of them studying 
music. I get a lesson every week from Herr 
Hauptmann, who is very kind, though it is 
difficult for me to understand all he says. 

To HIS Parents. 

Leipzig, 

December 5, 1853. 

I dine every day at the Hotel de Baviere table- 
d'hote. It is the best place in Leipzig ; and one 
meets very nice people. I have several times met 



1853] LEIPZIG 23 

English travellers there, and all the German aristo- 
cracy go there. For instance, one day you find 
next to you the Saxon Minister, another a Count, 
another a Princess, and so on ; which sounds very 
grand, but is pretty much the same in appearance 
as plain Mr. or Mrs. in England. Yesterday I 
sat next to Hector Berlioz, who is here giving a 
grand concert of his own music. Also Dr. Liszt 
has been here at the Hotel. Berger dines with 
me ; we have tried one or two cheaper places, 
but don't get enough meat to eat. 

Berger's father is coming here this Christmas, 
on purpose to see him ; I suppose you won't be 
tempted likewise. 



" Also Dr. Liszt has been here !" 

The one life that was to influence, above all 
else in the world, that of his brother Walter, a 
lad just emerging from childhood — and Edward 
never knew him personally, though at such close 
quarters. It reminds one of the " Ships that pass 
in the night, and speak one another in passing," 
except that these two ships never spoke one 
another. 

His character and perceptions were rapidly 
maturing on the genial soil of Leipzig. On 
December 24, 1853, he wrote to Mr. Barham 
his general impressions of the worth of what he 
was doing : — • 



24 F. EDWARD BACHE [1853 

I expect to derive the greatest benefit from 
my studies with Herr Hauptmann. ... I have 
not for the last three or four years had such an 
opportunity to read and think about my art, and 
also to become intimately acquainted with so 
much music, owing to the quantity of business 
work I have always had to do. So the result 
of my thoughts is the following with regard to 
my past musical life. 

I have all my life endeavoured to have through 
all my compositions one leading idea, and a unity; 
and not a collection of smaller ideas. This has 
been the source of my greatest perplexity, as I 
had no one to tell me that that was right. I 
now feel it is the proper way of thinking ; I have 
played much new music since I came here, and I 
find that Mendelssohn has always composed on 
that principle, and also Beethoven in all his best 
works ; Mozart not so much (I think). Of 
course that is the primary condition of all Italian 
Opera composition. So I now feel a certainty, 
where before all was vague. . . . 

A well-trained ear [i.e., trained by hearing good 
works) will always, I think, if one is conscientious, 
prevent one from giving forth what is bad ; but 
this education helps one to save such an enormous 
quantity of time hereafter ; by facility in separating 
the gold from the dross at once. Of course no 
study can give design and ideas ; they spring 
from one's very life, and are the result of outward 
circumstance, seized hold of and applied by a 
poetical mind ; but study can enable one practi- 



1853] LEIPZIG 25 

cally to seize the good, and reject the bad ideas, 
without wasting energy and time upon them. 
Zum Beispiel ; I consider Bellini a man of 
peculiar genius ; but he didn't know what to 
do with it — Donizetti, not so much genius, but 
enormous practical art ; consequently the greater 
man of the two. So you see my feelings. I wish 
to go on in composition exactly as I have hitherto ; 
but I hope to gain more certainty. I have quite 
made up my mind for at least a year in Italy 
under some maestro, when I have finished 
thoroughly here, and if possible a year in Paris 
afterwards, the two latter being chiefly for the 
study of the Opera ; as my aim is to write 
English Opera for an English theatre ; and I see 
plainly enough already that I must thoroughly 
understand the stage of other countries, as we 
have no national school of Opera yet, and so I 
must learn elsewhere if I want to produce Operas 
to last. So you see how ambitious I am getting ; 
but I also see that everything is open in this world 
to a man who is fit for it ; and I wish to be a 
thoroughly educated composer ; as the old talk 
of genius is all humbug, and destroys many a 
young fellow. If he have talent and education 
he may produce a work of genius ; without them 
certainly not. 

With the closing of this year 1853 it would be 
well to cast a glance round, and see what the 
contemporary musical position in Europe was. 

Mendelssohn had been dead six years, but his 



2 6 F. EDWARD BACHE [1853 

spirit still held nearly absolute sway over Leipzig ; 
Chopin had been dead four years, but Paris, his 
chosen home, had not yet awakened to his genius ; 
the revolution of '48 had made an exile of Wagner, 
who had taken refiige in Switzerland ; Biilow had 
just taken his bold step of self-emancipation by his 
flight to Wagner there ; Liszt was in Weimar, 
making propaganda for the (at present) verfluchte 
Zukunftsmusik^ but especially for his poor strug- 
gling Wagner ; Brendel was starting his anti- 
Philistine crusade for the same purpose, with 
Schumann, in Leipzig ; Berlioz was pushing his 
bizarre fortunes in Paris, with a few tentacles 
stretched out into Germany as opportunity offered ; 
Rubinstein had begun his concert tours in Europe ; 
Russia, as yet almost unknown musically, was 
nursing up Borodin, Tschaikovsky, Rimsky- 
Korsakov, etc., for future fame ; the first just 
a year younger than Bache ; the two latter still 
in their school-boy days. 

In England Halle^ had recently started on his 
successful career ; whilst Arabella Goddard had 
just made her debut, noteworthy from the fact 
that her cheval de hataille was Beethoven's great 
Sonata in B flat. Op. 106, and that not only was 

1 " Confounded Music of the Future." 
^ Sir Charles Hall6, 1819-1895; born in Germany, but 
settled in England as Professor, pianist and conductor. 



1854] ' LEIPZIG 27 

she the first to play it in public in London, but 
that she played it by heart, a. procedure which in 
the case of other pianists, later and even greater, 
was severely reprehended ! As composers we had 
at this time Bennett for chamber music ; and in 
opera Balfe and Vincent Wallace. 

The new year opened happily, as the following 
letter home shows : — 

To HIS Parents. 

Leipzig, 

January 2, 1854. 

A very happy New Year to all the good people 
at Fair view House, Edgbaston.^ 

We have had a very pleasant time of it here. 
On Christmas Day Berger's father came, and 
eleven of us had a first-rate dinner together in 
the Hotel de Baviere. We had what the good 
people here call an English dinner, I suppose 
because the bill of fare comprised beef and plum 
pudding ; but I don't think any Englishman 
would recognise, in the light, digestible stuff they 
call plum pudding here, the heavy stuff we 
designate so in England. Most certainly they do 
know how to live here ; everything is so well 
cooked ; I am always just as ready to work after 
dinner as before, and that not because I eat less, 
because I think my appetite would astonish you ; 

1 His home in Birmingham. 



2 8 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

but because things are fit to eat and properly 
cooked. So much for eating and drinking. 

Berger is gone with his father to spend a few 
days with some relations at Nuremberg. On 
New Year's Eve four of the Americans and 
myself supped together, and drank the New Year 
in. There is a great fuss always here on New 
Year's Eve ; every one sits up, and there are 
many dances. In the Hotel de Baviere there was 
some music, and we all stayed up drinking wine 
till three o'clock on New Year's Day. 

Yesterday evening there was a Gewandhaus 
concert, with Beethoven's grand Choral Symphony. 
Afterwards I saw some singers serenading with a 
procession of torches ; they sang beautifully some 
of the German four-part songs. When I speak 
more German I shall enjoy this life very much ; 
it is a better way of living than the English are 
up to. 

Now I must tell you how cold it is ; there has 
always been frost and snow for the last six weeks, 
and we see sledges about everywhere in the streets, 
with one or two horses. Also of course skating 
ad lib., with a security never dreamt of in 
England. 

To HIS Parents. 

Leipzig, 

January i6, 1854. 

. . . When you write to Miss Strutt,^ pray tell 
her that I now feel happy for the first time for 

1 An old and dear friend of Mrs. Bache; aunt to the 
present Lord Belper. 



1854] LEIPZIG 29 

three years as regards my opportunities of study 
and improyement. It's all very well to say to a 
young man in England, " Try to write so and so " ; 
but I don't think it's possible to attempt the best 
species of compositions there in the present state 
of musical feeling and ignorance, England is the 
finest place in the world for the best performances 
of the best works of the best masters ; but 
exclusively the best; it is no place for a young 
man to learn and to make a career in, I am sure. 



Early in February he made a short trip to 
Berlin. He had been working very hard, and 
was in a disheartened state about his own progress 
in composition, and thought that a week's change 
of the musical horizon might be beneficial. Here 
he heard " Lucia " at Kroll's Theatre ; " well done 
as regards orchestra, but horrible singing ; I shall 
appreciate our English singers after hearing all 
that I am doomed to hear in that line "; — " Masa- 
niello " ; and " Fidelio " with Johanna Wagner.^ 

The state of his feelings with regard to music 
will be seen in two letters which follow. The 
first is to his friend Mr. Edmund K. Blyth : — 

1 Johanna Wagner, 1 828-1 894 ; niece of Richard Wagner ; 
a singer and actress of great distinction ; was the original 
Elizabeth in " Tannhauser." 



30 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

Leipzig, 

February 20, 1854. 

Dear Edmund, 

Your letter was decidedly jolly and 
welcome. You have no idea how I look forward 
to a letter from an old friend like you now that I 
am so far away. It is a great change in a fellow's 
feelings and ideas the first time he comes so far 
away from home, and probably to stay so long. 
I can only tell you that I value my old friends 
more than ever, and constantly think of them 
while about my work ; in fact, I do not think I 
could do anything here at all without such 
stimulus. 

Dear old fellow, I must now confess to you 
that I have for the last two months been very 
unhappy, owing to the present state of music 
here, which for a time completely unsettled my 
ideas and made me doubt if there was anything 
true and beautiful in the art. You must know 
that whereas the latter gigantic, mystical, and 
metaphysical works of Beethoven appear to me to 
have been the striving after something unattain- 
able (in this world) of the greatest musical 
intellect which ever flourished, and this too after 
he had exhausted almost all possible forms of 
artistic beauty and truth, the present race of 
musicians in Germany take these very works as 
the beginning of true music ; and as they have not 
in general quite so much genius as Beethoven, the 
result appears to me awful. Far sooner would I 
be JuUien, who does what he attempts, than any 



1854] LEIPZIG 31 

one of them. The consequence of this to me was 
for some time that I thought I had better give up 
all thoughts of music, as, if that was music, it was 
something I did not feel nor care about, and of 
course I felt dreadfully miserable. As for com- 
posing in such a state, it was out of the question. 

Now you must bear in mind that Leipzig is 
the very hotbed of this, and so I found very little 
sympathy with my feelings, but by degrees I found 
that most of the public were of my impression, as 
far as I could judge by conversing, and that it was 
only a kind of mania among the musicians here. 
So last week, as I had not composed for some time 
and could not, I thought I would go to Berlin and 
hear something there, and also get out of this in- 
cessant whirl of symphony music. So I am just 
returned from a very pleasant week in Berlin. 1 
met some very pleasant Americans there, of taste for 
painting and literature, and we have had much con- 
versation and visited the picture-galleries together, 
and I find the very same defects in the present 
German school of painting as illustrated by such 
men as Cornelius and Kaulbach. So my thoughts 
have been turned, and I come back here with my 
old English warmth of feeling for the true and 
beautiful, and now I hope to get on again. I have 
relieved my mind by writing a few pages on this 
subject, which I shall soon send over to my father. 
I will request him to send them to you to read if 
they will interest you. The worst of it is that 
the executants are all so tainted by this mania, 
that they do not give a thank ye for music which 



32 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

does not keep them continually counting their bars 
and looking out when to come in. The conse- 
quence is that you will hear splendidly perfect 
performances of such colossal works as Beethoven's 
Choral Symphony, but may sigh in vain for such 
a performance of " Masaniello " or " William 
Tell" Overtures as even our little orchestra in 
the Haymarket used to give. In the one case 
we felt the music, in the other they played the 
notes. 

This was brought home to me especially by the 
performance of " Masaniello " in the Grand Opera 
in Berlin. Here the house and the mise-en-scene are 
noted as the finest in the world, infinitely superior 
to Covent Garden, but, despite this, I received no 
pleasure. It was all so many notes, and so much 
counterpoint, not so many lovely and perfect ideas, 
as with our English angels of orchestras. I could 
scarcely keep my seat during the cold-blooded 
execution of the overture. Perfect it was, more 
so perhaps in p's and /'j than in England, but no 
tone, no feeling. So much for this subject, which 
is now a very painful one to me. However, my 
dear boy, there's old England left yet, and I will 
learn as much as possible here, and afterwards, I 
hope, in Paris and Italy for a year or two, and 
then work with heart and soul in and for England. 

Now I must say that I can learn more here than 
I could possibly in England, so I will get the good, 
and not forget that I have a heart, in cultivating 
my head. Herr Hauptmann is a master of the 
best school ; I confide all my troubles of this kind 



i8s4] LEIPZIG 33 

to him, and he agrees perfectly with me. I need 
not say that my admiration of the warm-hearted 
yet intellectual, jolly old German art increases 
every day — Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Handel, 
Mendelssohn and Spohr, etc. I feel more and 
more the wish to write O'pera ; I feel an unsatis- 
factory feeling with instrumental music as com- 
pared with that, which grows upon me every day. 
When I have finished here, I will go to Paris and 
Italy, if I sell myself to the devil to do it. Mean- 
time, although I have not composed, yet I have 
worked hard at my fugue studies with Herr H., 
and also at my German, so I am getting on, 
although I have yet shown nothing for it. But 
there are times of change and violent feelings in 
everyone's life, and these are generally not the 
times of action. 

The next letter is to the late Mr. George Wells 
Ingram of Birmingham, who was the lifelong 
friend of both Edward and Walter Bache, and 
himself endowed with genius ; a remarkable 
instance of a " musician by ear." 

Leipzig, 

February 21, 1854. 

... So, once more, I have been regularly 
miserable (musically, I mean, for otherwise my 
life is very pleasant), and have not been able to 
compose anything for some time, my ideas have 
received one or two such violent wrenches ; last 



34 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

week I could stand it no longer, and packed ofF 
bag and baggage to Berlin for a week's holiday. 
There I attended the opera, and the picture- 
galleries, and met some nice Americans (thank 
goodness not musicians), and so now feel all right 
again. 

The fact is, George, I may as well say it out, I 
think music, painting and literature are here going 
as fast as possible to the dogs ; all art here begins 
where it ought to leave off ; their literature with 
the sublime mysteries of Hamlet, their music with 
the gigantic Choral Symphony ; and as all people 
are not Shakespeares or Beethovens, the result 
may be imagined. 

I love more than ever all our old favourite 
works, but I am getting an increasing aversion 
every day to the gigantic and mystical but unin- 
telligible ; for instance, I like Beethoven's Septett 
better than ever, but the Eroica I do not like ; I 
simply admire it. 

On the other hand, very much owing to my 
intercourse with Berger, I am getting more and 
more to understand the best Italian art, and there 
I feel more and more satisfaction every day, in its 
simplicity and truth, yet perfect adaptation to 
both one's heart and intellectual feelings. 

In England I had not felt the want of this, as 
I suppose I had about as jolly and smooth a life 
as possible ; but now that perhaps I feel more a 
man, and miss my customary friends, what could 
I do without Rossini and Donizetti .'' I view these 
two as Handel and Mozart in Italian art. 




Wm^^ 



^^^y^^^-^-t*, t. ^-.-^--^ Y^-*^ ^-tyf-^L^t^-lC^i^ . 



1854] LEIPZIG 35 

Handel and Rossini speak to one's feelings from 
above, they seem not to be of this earth ; there is 
no human weakness in their music ; they are gods, 
not men, to us young musicians. 

Mozart and Donizetti, on the contrary, are poor 
weak mortals like ourselves ; they express our 
feelings in the way we would wish to express 
them if we had the power. I always look upon 
Handel and Rossini like those perfect, serene old 
Grecian statues of the gods ; upon Mozart and 
Donizetti as more flesh and blood ; upon the 
former as instructors and imfarters of elevated 
ideas, upon the latter as expressors of our own 
ideas and weaknesses. 

In April he went to Dresden, partly in order to 
hear Schneider,^ the great organist there. He 
writes to his parents : — 

I had an introduction from Hauptmann to 
Schneider, who received me very kindly and took 
me up into his organ-loft with him. I told him 
that I was very desirous to have a few lessons 
from him if possible this summer ; and I hope I 
shall be able to manage it. He is the greatest 
extempore player in the strict style I have yet 
heard, except Henry Smart of London, whom I 
consider fully equal, as far as I can yet judge. . . . 

The garden-concerts at Dresden are charming ; 
the admission varies from twopence to threepence, 
and you take also a cup of coffee. The orchestras 

1 Johann Gottlob Schneider, 1789-1864.; one of the most 
celebrated organists of the last century ; lived at Dresden. 

3—2 



36 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

consist of twenty-six performers generally, and 
one hears sometimes a symphony, which is not 
the case here in Leipzig. I had the good fortune 
to hear two symphonies — the Jupiter and the 
E flat of Mozart. You must not imagine that 
these symphonies are well played ; it would be a 
very poor English orchestra indeed which would 
not play them much better ; these orchestras 
however are at home in waltzes and polkas by 
German composers. You can hear nothing so 
perfect as this in England ; it is to me the feature 
of German music. George Ingram would go mad 
to hear them play waltzes of Lanner or Strauss in 
the way they do here. 

The musical public in Dresden seem to me 
much pleasanter {dankbar) than here in Leipzig ; 
here they are so hlase, that nothing but a tre- 
mendous noise of drums and trumpets or some bit 
of clever charlatanism in the scoring will ever 
move them. ... I heard no opera in Dresden, 
as Hector Berlioz was there, monopolizing the 
opera house with his horrid rubbish. I prefer 
Wagner to Berlioz, though Wagner is so abomin- 
able that you cannot imagine such a noise as yet 
in England. 

Anent this last sentence, and to show that, 
crude as we may now think these remarks, young 
Bache was in the majority as regards his own 
countrymen at that time and far on into Walter 
Bache's career too, the following is quoted from 
the Illustrated London News of May 6, 1854. 



1854] LEIPZIG 37 

"New Philharmonic Society. 

" The concert concluded with Wagner's Over- 
ture to ' Tannhauser.' This composer (the uncle 
of Johanna Wagner) is in vogue in Germany at 
present — on what grounds we know not ; for this 
specimen of his talents is a mere chaos of con- 
fusion — a mass of discordant noises, without form, 
melody, or meaning." 

It was in this spring that Bache made the 
acquaintance of the late Mr. Julius Kistner, the 
well-known Leipzig music-publisher, who, both 
in his business and in his private capacity, was 
ever a kind and faithful friend to him, as well as 
to his brother Walter later on. In June Edward 
made a little trip with him into Thuringia, saw 
the Wartburg, at Eisenach, " where Luther trans- 
lated the Bible, and he certainly displayed very 
good taste in the selection of a nice place to work 
in, for nothing could be more beautiful in the 
way of inland scenery." 

Thirteen years later (in 1867) Walter also 
visited the Wartburg, on the memorable occasion 
of the first performance of Liszt's " St. Elizabeth " 
there, of which mention will be made later on. 



38 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 



Mr. Alfred Mellon to Edward Bache. 

134, Long Acre, 

June 27, 1854. 

My dear boy Edward, 

I've been on the point of writing to you 
many times, but until this time never succeeded 
in making a start — however now here goes. Well, 
I've received both your letters, the contents of 
which please me much, as I feel assured you are 
fast improving, and still remain the same good 
dear boy I always thought and wished you to be. 
Go on — work away — learn every mortal thing 
you possibly can. I must presume, I suppose, 
that your health is good, although you don't 
mention it — at least I'll hope it is. . . . 

And now touching yourself and your plans — 
you don't ask me my opinion, but never mind, I 
shall give it. 

It strikes me that you very much overrate 
Italy and France as regards being fine places for 
study ; you say you've conquered Fugue and 
double Counterpoint in the 10 and 12, etc., etc. 
Now what the devil else can you learn in Italy and 
France .'' Can you not hear the best Italian operas, 
the best French and German operas, done in London 
much better than in any other part of the world .'' 
You say you've carefully studied Rossini's best 
operas— well then, rest assured that you know the 
very best Italian music that ever was or ever will 
be written. By all means, if you can, go and see 
both Italy and France, but not to study ; I feel 




ALFRED MELLON 



i8s4] LEIPZIG 39 

almost sure that your errand on an improving 
point of view would be a sad failure. Mind I'm 
not saying this as advice — simply as my conviction 
— do as you like ; what does Chorley ^ say, or 
Simpson? . . . 

Now, my dear Edward, recollect all these things, 
and don't allow any mortal soul to talk you out 
of writing Fugues ; when people say it's all 
mechanical stuff don't believe them— -they can't do 
it ; in fact, not one of our very best living com- 
posers could really write a good Fugue. Have 
faith in what your master says — I mean Haupt- 
mann. . . . 

Now, my dear boy, good-bye, and God bless 
you. I begin to think Miss Woolgar^ had reason 
to be jealous of you when you lived with me, for 
she often said that I loved you more than I did 
her. I cannot altogether agree with her, at the 
same time confess that my feeling for you was 
much more like that of a relation than anything 
else. Let me sincerely hope that, whatever my 
feelings are, that they will ever remain, and that I 
may always look upon you as my dearest friend 
and musical brother. 

Bless you, my dear boy, 

Yours affectionately, 
Alfred Mellon. 

It will be seen from the above letter that Bache 

1 Henry F. Chorley, 1808-1872 ; author and journalist in 
London, but best known as a musical critic. 

2 Afterwards Mrs. Mellon. 



40 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

was thinking seriously of pushing on to Italy and 
Paris. 

"You have no idea," he wrote to one of his 
friends, " how glad I shall be when I once finally 
set foot out of Germany again. I tell you once 
again how utterly I detest German art, except in 
the great instances which we have always together 
admired, and these I like better and better daily." 

Mr. Alfred Mellon's remark must have led 
him to consult older and wiser heads ; for, writing 
to his parents on July 30, 1854, he says: — 

I have now made up my mind to return home 
next January or February certain, and commence 
work again. I had for some time been thinking 
of going to Italy from here for a year, which I did 
not mention to you till it was decided ; and I 
have written to Mr. Palgrave Simpson and Mr. 
Chorley, asking their advice. They advise me 
most strongly not to go to Italy to study, but to 
go in a year or two's time to travel if possible. I 
still feel confident that there is a great deal 
musically to be learnt in Italy ; but I think it will 
be best for me to have regular work again as soon 
as I have done with Hauptmann. 

This summer he had a delightful visit from his 
lifelong friend, the late Mrs. Henry Ames of 
Liverpool ; and in company with her and her 
nephew he made a little trip to Dresden and the 



1854] LEIPZIG 41 

Saxon Switzerland, ending up with Berlin. From 
the latter city he writes what he has evidently 
been long revolving in his mind : — 

To Mr. Alfred Foster Barham. 

Berlin, 

July 16, 1854. 

... I have thought very much about the 
future, as I do not wish to make a false step ; and 
I have at last decided giving up Italy for the 
present, as I think my duty is to come back to 
London and work there. If I were to go to 
Italy for another year, it might induce idle habits 
which I should never get rid of all my life. So as 
soon as I have quite finished with Hauptmann I 
will return to London, and work like a nigger at 
writing, etc. I have for the last nine months had 
a perfectly different life fi-om what my life for the 
last four years has been. In London I felt that I 
was a working man (or individual, if you please), 
and that I must do my best in every way ; and I 
always had the thought before me that some time 
or other I should get to Germany in order (as I 
thought) to complete my education. So I worked 
on, and had pretty well confidence in myself. On 
the contrary, when I came to Leipzig, and had 
all my time to myself for study, I began to per- 
ceive how very little I knew, and how much I 
had to learn ; I began for the first time to appre- 
ciate (by hearing and studying) the good Italian 
operas, which in England I had always perhaps 



42 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

rather looked down on as works of intellect, 
though I could not help admiring their beauty. 
The more I study the operas of Rossini and 
Donizetti, the more do I find to admire in the 
enormous intellectual power which they have dis- 
played in planning their pieces, which is quite a 
separate thing from the more sensuous power 
which has created their melodies. 

As a Northern man, of course these Southern 
melodies do not address me to the heart, so much 
as they seem to me a picture of a warm, genial, 
sunny kind of life of which we all dream occa- 
sionally as the life of Italy, and of which we all 
hope some time, I believe, to taste a little. But 
every nation has a kind of feeling; this feeling 
must show itself in their melodies as taken by 
themselves; but the universal intellectual feeling 
of art, as regards design, proportion, etc., ought 
to be the same, I think, in all nations, and so it is 
in the best composers of all nations. The more I 
study Rossini and Donizetti, the more am I struck 
by their intense knowledge of human nature. 
They seem to have sifted the art of music to its 
first principles, as founded on human nature ; and 
to have built up their systems by rejecting what 
was opposite to their nature in the very beginning, 
instead of suffering it to grow up into such a 
large abuse that people looking at it should think 
" it couldn't be wrong because there was so much 
of it." 

To instance you one thing I mean ; I consider 
the Italians much greater masters of modulating 



1854] LEIPZIG 43 

and harmony than the present German composers. 
They are in the habit of looking at a modulation 
as an effect upon the mind, not as so many notes. 
For instance, when we are in the key of C and 
modulate to G, does not the first F sharp we hear 
sound perfectly divine.? Of course it does; and 
therefore must we have a reason for using it, 
connected intimately with our poetical design of 
the piece. Thus the Italians conceive the longest 
of their pieces as one whole ; they get the sketch 
first, and gradually elaborate it on that sketch. 
The Germans on the contrary, except a few great 
ones, as a principle make a great many small 
pictures, and then tack them together with 
enormous cleverness, and then call it a whole. 
The Germans are critical as to the colouring and 
execution of a picture; the Italians are perceptive 
as regards the design. 

Berger, my young friend here, makes a very 
good illustration of this modulation business as 
having effect upon the mind. He says you may 
compare the natural modulations to the progress 
of the sun ; so you may. Take, for instance, the 
key of D major — your piece is in D major. First 
modulation into A major feels like the mid-day 
sun ; afterwards back to D major. Second 
modulation into G major feels like the evening 
setting in ; and a man must be a fool who would 
modulate more after that, as it must have a wrong 
effect on the mind. Of course these two or three 
chief modulations can be elaborated so as to 
embrace every key in the twenty-four ; but that 



44 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

outline is the one suggested by Nature, and if it be 
violated you can't make a good piece of music. 

The Germans, always with great exceptions, 
attempt to deny this principle in their works, by 
modulating anywhere and at any time ; but, 
cleverly as they sometimes do it, they cannot 
produce a clear mental impression by such means, 
but rather a bewilderment, which is by some 
people considered the "ne plus ultra " of art, but 
not by me. 

I have one illustration myself of the difference 
between Italian and German principles. You have 
just finished a picture consisting of figures and a 
background : you wish this picture to be viewed 
from a certain point (say six feet distance) in order 
to get the general effect. The Italian stands 
where you ask him, and judges your work by the 
effect it produces from the point of view you 
intended ; he says "That figure does not seem to 
me what you intended to express," or in similar 
words. He does not say " You have put in too 
many touches of the brush in such and such a bit 
of the detail;" he judges of the effect. The 
German on the contrary bustles into your room : 
" Hay ! ha ! hi !" says he, and runs up with his 
spectacles to poke his nose into some corner of the 
background, upon which he immediately com- 
mences criticism. When the two have finished, 
the German will tell you perfectly where you have 
failed in mechanical painting, etc., but will not 
have a word to say as to the general expression of 
the picture ; the Italian on the contrary will not 



1854] LEIPZIG 45 

insult you by supposing you go to paint a picture 
without knowing grammar, but will point out any 
faults in the conception of the expression. This 
is at all events so in music. 

I should say now, if I knew any lad twelve or 
thirteen years old, of great musical genius, " Go to 
Germany till fifteen years old to learn mechanical 
grammar wherewith to express your ideas fluently 
and correctly ; go to Italy afterwards to study 
principles of art as distinguished from details of 
execution. 

Full of his intention to return to England by 
way of Paris, he writes his views on many subjects 
in the following letter : — 

To Mr. Ingram. 

Leipzig, 

October 8, 1854. 

What will you think of my awfully long 
silence? . . . 

I am determined to return to England next 
March or April ; and as I shall be quite finished 
with Hauptmann in a few weeks more, I shall 
leave here straight for Paris, and spend the winter 
there. My reasons are these. I think I have 
now pretty well heard the round of German 
music, as performed here, and should not have 
much more experience to get by stopping longer 
here. I am excessively anxious to live in Paris 
for three or four months before I finally settle in 



46 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

England, chiefly because I have never yet lived 
among what you may call an opera people, and 
am very desirous of doing so (also among a 
people of the Catholic religion) ; and secondly, 
because I wish to have French pretty much at my 
finger-ends for after-life. I now speak German 
enough to make myself understood, and read and 
write it pretty tolerably, though not nearly as 
well as French ; I calculate it would take me at 
least five years' residence here to learn it perfectly. 
At present I speak French with difficulty, though 
I understand it pretty well to read or write. So I 
wish to get on a little further with it. 

You cannot imagine with what intense curiosity 
I look forward to the French operas in Paris. 
Of course I am now familiar with several of the 
best works of one or two of the best composers 
there ; but I want to hear operas by inferior 
composers, so as to see the state of musical feeling 
there. I expect, notwithstanding all people say 
to the contrary, to find musical feeling in a much 
higher state in Paris than anywhere in Germany. 
Here the feeling for music impresses itself more 
and more upon me as being the pure indulgence 
and excitement of the curiosity, not of the poetic 
element in one's nature, and, as such, not to rank 
much higher as art than a splendid game of chess. 
I have never yet seen an audience in Germany 
moved in the slightest degree by any performance 
whatsoever. They sometimes get a little excited, 
but then it is by some e£Fect of the performer, or 
some new dodge in the composition, and not by a 



1854] LEIPZIG 47 

heartfelt poetical feeling. Now you know, this 
one may see any day in England ; and I must 
confess it, I would sooner see an Adelphi melo- 
drama with the whole audience going with it, than 
hear the most elaborate German composition, 
when not a heart beats any the quicker or stronger 
throughout. 

Do you know, George, I don't think I could 
write a note for German singers or players ; if I 
did, they would break my heart by their utter 
want of appreciating one's ideas. They would in 
an instant seize on any points in the composition 
or scoring, and make the most possible of these 
by perfect execution of p's and/'j, crescendos, etc., 
but nothing more. When a German singer sings 
the finale of " Sonnambula," she doesn't appear any 
more joyful than she does miserable when she is 
found in the Count's bed. She sings and screams 
the notes as written, and that's all. I have never 
yet in Germany, in any performance whatsoever, 
seen a smile or any look of pleasure exchanged 
amongst the orchestra ; how often don't we see 
that in England.'' eh? They don't know that 
Bellini scored that final air in " Sonnambula " with 
the alternate horn and violin notes in the ac- 
companiment, as representing the girl's heart 
bursting with joy almost. How should they? 
they never dream of any greater enjoyment than 
drinking a pot or two of beer. 

Now I do expect to find these feelings of 
sentiment and delicacy in Paris (even though 
there may be great vice behind them), and I shall 



48 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

be surprised if I am not delighted with the French 
operas. 

Well ! so, George, your next letter from me 
will probably be from Paris ! sounds nice, doesn't 
it ? Perhaps you will come over this winter for 
a week or two ; it is not more than going to 
Edinburgh, you know. So you just think about 
it, that's a good fellow. Now I have excited 
myself too much about the old question to talk 
calmly about anything else ; so I'll let off my 
steam at two operas which you have never heard, 
and which I have heard lately here. 

" Zampa " — most melodious, brilliantly scored, 
tender feeling, melodramatic effects ; in fact one 
of the most charming operas I ever heard, fully 
coming up to the glorious overture. 

" Czar and Zimmermann " by Lortzing is quite 
the best German opera I have ever heard by any 
German composer, I mean as an opera. He 
wrote the libretto himself, and that is excellent 
too. The opera is not perfect ; it is not the 
work of a great musician ; but it is the oiFspring 
of a kind of roadside genius, abounding in 
melody, always fresh, always suiting the stage to 
a T, and intensely comic. Never mind, we'll play 
it together when I come back, and " Zampa " too ; 
and also some of old Verdi, whom I am over head 
and ears in, and am going to stick up for, as being 
as great a man as any of 'em. 

You will see by my letters home what I say 
of Reissiger's church music at Dresden. This is 
the greatest musical pleasure I have yet had in 



i8s4] LEIPZIG 49 

Germany. Catholic music is more female in 
character^ (owing to the Virgin being always the 
object of adoration) than Protestant. I wish I 
could conscientiously be a Catholic ; I never 
worshipped so well as in the Catholic church at 
Dresden, 

It will be seen from the above that he was at 
a most impressionable period of his life ; all that 
appealed to the poetical and sentient side of his 
nature was congenial to him, whilst the drybones, 
the scientific side of music, albeit he had gone 
through its drudgery in his studies, seemed to be 
abhorrent to him as musical art. One or two of 
the letters last quoted, although containing many 
crudities, which he himself would doubtless have 
been the first to acknowledge had he lived to 
maturer years, are nevertheless inserted, because, 
though they contain many strictures that may 
draw forth a smile from the learned, they present 
also many interesting points, some of which hold 
as good today as even when they were penned. 
And it must not be forgotten that German music 
at this very epoch was itself passing through a 
stage of transition. If it was, so to say, at a sort 
of halting-point between the old and the new, it is 
not to be wondered at that a youth of one-and- 

1 No one has expressed this more strongly than Goethe him- 
self, when he wrote " Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan." 



50 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

twenty, who had thus far been nurtured in the 
old traditions, should have felt himself as yet 
in complete opposition to the new gospel just 
beginning to be preached. 

Writing to his friend Mr. Stanley Lucas, the 
music publisher, on October 11, 1854, he 
says : — 

I am now through with my actual studies. 
Hauptmann says I can write anything of any kind 
I please to set about, so that is consoling. By 
George, it makes a fellow's blood tingle to think 
he is an Englishman (after reading of the victory 
at Alma^). ... I only hope you will not 
publish more than you can help of music composed 
to celebrate the victory ; I mean patriotic effusions, 
such as " Hearts' Blood of the Brave Alma 
March," etc. I think such things tend to keep 
the musical profession in low esteem. If we had 
one very great composer of world-wide celebrity 
among us, there should be a commission to write, 
like Handel's Dettingen Te Deum ; but unhappily 
anything of this kind is only the signal for all the 
small fry of the profession to be up and doing. 

Shortly before leaving Leipzig he sent the 
following letter as an introduction for his friend 
Mr. Berger, who was then wishing to establish 
himself in London : — 

1 In the Crimean War. 



i8s4] LEIPZIG 51 

To Mr. a. J. HiPKiNS.i 

Leipzig, 

November 9, 1854. 

Dear Mr. Hipkins, 

Allow me to introduce to you Mr. 
Francesco Berger, my best friend here ; he is a 
pupil of Hauptmann's for twelve months, and was 
before that a pupil of Maestro Ricci in Trieste. 
By this you will see that he is especially devoted 
to composition. He is now going to settle in 
London, and as he requested an introduction to 
Messrs. Broadwood from me I thought I had 
better give him a letter to you, and request you 
to take some opportunity of presenting him to 
Messrs. Broadwood. . . . 

I leave here myself in three or four weeks, and 
go to Paris, where I hope to stay three months, 
returning to London in March next. I shall be 
rejoiced to see all my old friends again. 

The end of this year found him in Paris, where 
he spent a couple of months, his primary object 
being to study the Opera there. While there he 
finished the " Five Characteristic Pieces," dedicated 
" to his friend George Ingram," which Mr. Kistner 
published, and of which Mr. Augener, the London 
publisher, brought out a new edition in 1898. In 

1 Mr. A. J. Hipkins (of Messrs. Broadwood's) ; subse- 
quently known by his lectures and writings concerning old 
musical instruments, especially of the keyboard kind, on which 
he is one of the first living authorities. 

4—2 



52 F. EDWARD BACHE [1854 

the best of spirits he wrote to this friend on 
December 23, 1854 : — 

Dear George, 

Here I am, and write to fetch you over at 
once to join me. I have a room at Hotel du 
Continent, No. 3, Rue St. Lazare, Paris ; and shall 
hope in two or three days to have an answer from 
you authorizing me to take the next room for 
yourself. You must come, this isn't far ; it isn't 
like coming to Dresden, and I should like us two 
to enjoy a little opera music together once in our 
lives. . . . 

So now, George, come and spend your New 
Year with me here, substitute frogs for plum- 
pudding, and Italian and French opera for the Old 
Meeting organ. 

As I expect you will come, I shan't write you a 
word more now ; and if you don't come, why I'll 
cut your head off when I come back. So a merry 
Christmas ; the happy New Year we'll spend 
together here. 

N.B. — I. Theatre Imperial de I'Opera. 

2. Theatre Imperial de I'Opera Comique. 

3. Theatre Lyrique. 

4. Theatre des Italiens. 

(Bosio, Gassier, Rossi, Borghi-Mamo, etc.) 
II faut venir. 



Ill 

ENGLAND 
185s 

TN February this year Edward Bache returned to 
England, with the intention of making London 
his future headquarters. Full of energy, vigour 
and high hopes, he was just about to embark on a 
series of concerts at Hampstead, when the sudden 
death of his mother came upon him with an over- 
whelming sense of loss. What this bereavement 
meant could be understood even approximately by 
those only who knew intimately the exquisitely 
pure and aspiring character of Bache's mother. 
From her, her seven children inherited that passion 
for music which developed more or less in nearly 
all of them, but most notably in the two brothers 
who are the subjects of this volume. She herself 
was an admirable musician, as music then went, 
having been brought up in the school of Herz 
and the leading musicians of that day ; and her 
wide sympathies and cultivated mind made her the 



54 F. EDWARD BACHE [1855 

companion as well as the guiding-star of her elder 
children. Her premature removal from them, the 
result of her overworked life, was indeed the 
greatest calamity that could have befallen them, 
for her influence would have greatly modified the 
young characters then forming, which were 
deprived of its help at so critical a time. 

Realizing that for every great sorrow the best 
panacea is work, Bache returned to London to the 
further preparations for his Hampstead concerts, 
which took place this summer. In these he was 
admirably seconded by his friend, Mr. Deichmann,^ 
whose acquaintance he had made before he went 
to Leipzig, Mr. Berger, then also settled in 
London, the late Mons. Paque the violon- 
cellist, and others. 

Mr. Kistner, Bache's Leipzig friend and pub- 
lisher, was fond of airing his English in his letters 
to his favourite ; and some of these are so charm- 
ingly fresh and naive as to tempt occasional 
transcription from them. 

From Mr. Kistner to Edward Bache. 

Leipzig, 

April z$, 1855. 
Dear Friend, 

I received your kind letter and the good 
news^ with the greatest joy, and I translated imme- 

1 Mr. Carl Deichmann, a well-known London violinist 
and Professor. 

^ Of his success at a Liverpool concert. 



1855] ENGLAND 55 

diately, but a little shorter, the Birmingham notice, 
which I send you inside, . . . 

Your beginning was happy, and I am persuaded 
that with your consequence you will make good 
success. Every beginning is difficult, but with 
your talent, your modestie and amability and your 
diligence, the resultat must be very favourable. 
Don't lose the patience and your good 'humour, 
and be assured that Mr. Auber has very right 
when he sings: " Les amis sont toujour s la I" . . . 

Freges,^ my nephews, niece, sister-in-law, Mr. 
Halle, Dr. Georg Friederici who is here now, 
Gurckhaus,^ Mr. A. Mayer, and many friends 
shake your hands, and I beg you to don't for- 
get Arthur O'Leary,^ Miss Stabbach,* Dolby,^ 
Molique,^ Bennett and all my friends there. 

Ever yours, 

Julius Kistner. 

To Mr. Deichmann. 

19, Albert Street, Regent's Park, 
7«/r 31,1855. 

Dear Deichmann, 

I was very anxious to see you before you 
left England ; please to write and tell me when 

1 Freges, the near relatives of Hans v. Billow, and 
mentioned so frequently in his early letters. To Mme. 
Livia Frege Edward Bache had dedicated some of his songs. 

^ Gurckhaus, successor to Mr. Kistner. 

3 The well-known Professor at the R.A.M. 

* A singer. 

5 The famous contralto, afterwards Mme. Sainton-Dolby. 

8 Bernhard Molique, 1 803-1 869; a celebrated violinist 
and Professor. 



56 F. EDWARD BACHE [1855 

you will be back, also whether you will be in 
London through the winter, as I have been at 
Norwich making interest for us to give a concert, 
and will do the same at Birmingham when I go 
down there, and of course I wish to know whether 
you will be here. I think we shall be able to 
make some money, and certainly reputation. I 
write also to tell you that I saw Mellon yesterday, 
and he says Costa ^ has written offering you an 
engagement for Birmingham Festival, as Mellon 5 
deputy, he being detained in London by other 
engagements. . . . 

If you do go to the Birmingham Festival, I 
should meet you there, and we could then arrange 
plans for the ensuing winter. 

Write me a line when you can, to tell me what 
your present plans are. I have been asked on 
many sides to give three soirees at Hampstead 
this winter. Good-bye. 

Believe me, 

Yours ever very sincerely, 

F. Edward Bache. 

To Mr. Ingram he wrote, this summer : — 

I am very anxious about little Walter, and his 
learning the organ. I want him to have permis- 
sion to practise at the New Meeting, and then 
you would give him a lesson now and then, 
wouldn't you .^ It will be the ruin of him, if so 

1 Sir Michael Costa, 1810-1884; Spanish by birth, but 
settled in England, where he attained a high reputation as a 
conductor. 



i85s] ENGLAND 57 

decided a wish be not allowed fair play. Please 
let me know anything you know about the affair, 
without letting Walter know that I wrote to you, 
and then I will take further steps : as if I don't 
look after the poor little fellow in this, no one 
will, and it is a shame so decided a talent should 
not have a chance. 

This was the year of the Birmingham Triennial 
Festival, for which Bache wrote some of the local 
critiques. He afterwards said that this Festival 
was so perfect he did not wish to hear another. 
Prophetic words ! By the time the next came 
round he was on his death-bed. 

In the autumn he made preparations for a series 
of Chamber Concerts to be given in Birmingham 
in conjunction with Mr. Deichmann. The first 
duly took place ; but on the very day for which 
the second was fixed, December 14, the musical 
agent had to send round notices to all the sub- 
scribers, postponing the concert on account of 
Bache's sudden illness. 

As late as November 1 3 he had written to his 
father from London : — 

I just write a line or two to say that I am very 
well and busy. ... I am sometimes very melan- 
choly and unhappy now, and it gets worse and 
worse the more I learn, owing to the bad state of 
my profession in England. I feel more and more 



58 F. EDWARD BACHE [1855 

determined to make my career abroad if -possible ; 
it is harder to start there than here, but afterwards 
there is fame and money to be made, and a happy 
artistic life to be led, which is impossible in this 
comparatively uneducated country. ... I do not 
forget that I owe you ^^5, but I cannot pay you 
just yet, as I find it very difficult to go on from 
week to week just now. Provisions are immensely 
dear here, and becoming dearer daily. 

I hope all are well at home ; I shall hope for 
three or four days among you in the winter. 

Another letter to his father, written a few weeks 
before the above, shows so simply how deeply he 
had thought on the serious subjects of life, though 
only twenty -two, that a portion of it is here 
quoted : 

October 20, 1855. 

I have so long (ever since I embraced the career 
of an artist, in fact) been so accustomed to look at 
this world as a mere journey to something else, 
that I believe I am capable of supporting any 
bereavement (or amount of them, even) with 
apparent equanimity ; as long as I have my art 
to work at, I feel I still have their society and 
sympathy, which after all is what one values more 
than the actual presence ; this is the reason I have 
always shown such a repugnance for the professor s 
as distinguished from the artist' s life ; because if I 
once lost this feeling for my art, I am aware how 
blank and cold this world would immediately 



1855] ENGLAND 59 

appear to me. Now surely your life, properly 
considered, is the perfection of the artist's life, 
that in which the greatest artists have approached 
nearest to the Divine nature. If you view it in 
this way, you surely will not look upon the re- 
mainder of your journey as a toilsome pilgrimage 
to be got over, but rather as a short space in 
which you should try to concentrate the greatest 
possible amount of good and activity as an offering 
to her'^ when you meet again. If you look at it 
in this way, it will be a consolation, and the very 
grief will be turned into a joy. . . . 

You will excuse me for speaking so freely on 
all these points ; since I took to music I have had 
long and frequent periods of great distress, and at 
first her death seemed to complete my misery ; I 
struggled against it, and worked hard, and I am 
now happier than I have ever been before in my 
life, though with a different kind of happiness. 
It is not religion in the way generally understood, 
but it is all through my art; if you can bend your 
views to this warm and joyful (artistic) influence 
of your most sacred of all professions, instead of 
the mere consoling part of it, you will find relief, 
I think. 

A severe attack of haemorrhage, following on a 
previous and slighter attack of the same, now 
caused doctors and friends to view most seriously 
that condition which was, in reality, the beginning 

1 His mother. 



6o F. EDWARD BACHE [1855 

of the end. For consumption had sowed its 
insidious seeds in a constitution which was never 
of the strongest, and which the rigid economies of 
his early years in London had sorely taxed, in 
conjunction with the restless energy of his highly- 
strung and sensitive nature. 

On his being sufficiently recovered for a change 
to be thought of, a winter in Algiers was strongly 
recommended by the doctors, and finally decided 
upon. The loneliness of this contemplated change 
was obviated by the generous offer of a friend, 
the late Mr. J. C. Addyes Scott, to accompany 
him to Algiers ; and by this kindness the anxieties 
of his family and friends were greatly alleviated. 



IV 

ALGIERS 
1856 

"p*ARLY in January 1856, Bache started for 
Algiers with his friend Mr. Addyes Scott. 
Here, as everywhere else, his genial sunny tempera- 
ment and his God-given talents soon made him the 
centre of a circle of warm friends and admirers ; ' 
and he had not been there long before he was 
urged to give a concert : this by the principal 
local paper, which jokingly threatened to apply 
to the English Consul, his kind friend Mr. Bell, to 
prevent his leaving Algiers until he had done so. 

Despite his dangerous and most serious illness, 
his hopeful nature asserted itself the moment he 
reached this more congenial climate ; and, no doubt 
partly to alleviate the anxiety of those at home, 
he wrote in the following cheerful strain before he 
had been there many days : — 



62 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 



To HIS Father. 

H6tel de Paris, Algiers. 
January zg, 1856. 

I am only going to write you a few lines by 
this steamer, as I am so tired of writing at my 
musical letters for the Birmingham Journal. . . . 

I am exceedingly well, better than I have been 
for a year at least ; everyone tells me I am actually 
beginning to get fat ; and my work goes on 
capitally. Addyes is not so fortunate ; he is 
suffering from a bad cold, but I trust he will soon 
be better. I have now my piano, and enjoy the 
life immensely, as I have time to eat, sleep and 
compose. The weather varies between June and 
May in England, being often in the evenings cool 
enough for an overcoat. There are orange trees 
full of fruit all about, the fruit being now ripe, and 
geraniums and such things in full flower. . . . 

About this time Walter Bache, still a boy at 
school, was writing most urgently to obtain his 
brother's consent to his devoting himself to the 
violin. Edward's reply is worth quoting in full, 
both as a picture of the violinist's life of that time, 
and because it contains many remarks about the 
musical profession which may nowadays seem 
strange, but which applied to it as it then was ; 
happily it is now free from much of the reproach 
of want of education, and is becoming every day 



i856j ALGIERS 63 

further and further removed from this formerly 
not unmerited slur. 



To HIS Brother. 

Algiers. 
February 12, 1856. 

Dear Walter, 

If you are bent upon pursuing music as a 
profession, you must remember one or two things. 
You will have to do with people infinitely inferior 
to yourself in every way ; as unfortunately there 
are very few educated men among our English 
musicians. You will make less money than your 
equals in social station ; in fact you will find it 
difficult to get along at all. I should much prefer 
seeing you a well-educated musical, amateur, 
making your living by something else. You 
might still in that case play some organ on 
Sundays, and, if the passion were still too strong, 
you might still give some lessons, or play at a 
small theatre in your leisure evenings. 

Suppose you were in the profession. You will 
have to work always four, five and six hours a day 
in giving lessons, which is at the best a very pre- 
carious source of income, and ceases entirely with 
failing health or anything of that kind. To give 
these lessons you will be obliged to be out in all 
weathers, ill or well, to sit in cold rooms, endure 
all the torments to be produced by stupid pupils. 
Well, if you were in some business, you would 
spend the same time daily in a comfortable, well- 



64 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

warmed office, you would have proper time for 
your meals, and you would be in the receipt of a 
regular certain income, which would be in all 
probability quite as much as you would be able 
to make by the scrambling, precarious life of a 
professor. Then, when you had finished your 
business hours, you would be fresh for music in 
the evening, instead of being worn out by listening 
to your pupils' bungling attempts all day. Thus, 
if you really had a talent for music, you would 
have more chance of maturing and perfecting it. 

You must bear in mind that no provision what- 
ever is made for the musician in England ; we are 
not so well off by a long way as Mr. Taylor the 
grocer, or Mr. Cox the poulterer. It is not long 
ago X. told me he should be only too happy to 
find some business-place, to give him a certainty. 
He is a first-rate man and has had great advantages ; 
if he finds so great a difficulty, how do you propose 
to do } 

Once more, the only professor in Birmingham 
who makes a really good income is Mr. Charles 
Flavell ;^ he teaches every day from early till late ; 
never has any time for practising, or playing in 
public, or scarcely even for going to an occasional 
concert. Yet he is one of the fortunate men of 
our profession ; should you like that life ? 

When you see Deichmann, show him this letter, 
and ask him what the musical profession is " as a 

1 Charles E. Flavell, 1816-1879; Professor and. pianist in 
Birmingham ; the teacher, in their early days, of Mr. Franklin 
Taylor and Miss Fanny Davies. 



1856] ALGIERS 65 

profession." You have yet seen only the bright 
side of it, and I wish you to keep that bright 
side. 

Now as to choice of instrument. If^ and it is 
Very difficult to do, you were in the course of time 
to be engaged as a first violin at the Opera, Phil- 
harmonic Society, Sacred Harmonic Society, and 
the Festivals, and get the best terms, your income 
would be about ;^I2C a year. This would never 
rise, ' and might at any moment fall ; and you 
would have to work long years to attain it. This 
is the violin side of the question. The ordinary 
pay of good violin players in the theatres is from 
twenty to twenty-five shillings per week ; and, if 
the theatre fails, you are out of an engagement. 
With the piano and organ, on the contrary, the 
case is different. If you are accomplished as a 
musician, and a gentleman in character, you may 
calculate on working up to an income of ;^3oo or 
even ;^400 a year, but by teaching. 

My advice is to you to go on with the organ 
and counterpoint specially ; keep up the violin 
and piano. You will never make a decent living 
from the violin, and you may from the others. 
But I advise you seriously not to take to the 
musical profession. Write in answer and I will 
answer your letter again. 

Your affectionate brother, 

F. Edward Bache. 

P.S. — Best remembrances to Deichmann. 



66 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

And, in a letter to his father on March 4, 
he says : — 

Now between you and me (i.e., not for Walter 
to hear), I should like him to be able to go to 
Leipzig (when he leaves school) for two years, and 
if I can assist in the project I will, and I hope I 
shall by that time be able. 

On March 28 his concert took place in 
Algiers, and he had a brilliant success. Not only 
did he win his way by his playing and the delicacy 
of his touch, but also by the absolute simplicity 
and charm of his manner, always entirely free from 
any affectation. This charm appeared, though in 
different fashion, in Walter later on, who was 
nothing if not natural. 

The local paper, the Jkhbar, of April 2, 
1856, devoted a large space to the criticism of 
this concert, from which the following is ex- 
tracted : — 

Son concert a ete fort brillant, d'une duree 
convenable, et nous pouvons lui assurer, sans etre 
accuse de camaraderie, qu'il a conquis beaucoup de 
suffrages, et des meilleurs. 

M. Bache n'a pas de longs cheveux, de longues 
mains et de longs doigts ; il n'a rien d'excentrique 
dans sa toilette ; il est simple et distingue, son jeu 
est comme lui ; ce qu'il cherche surtout, c'est la 
distinction, la finesse, I'expression, ces v^ritables 



1856] ALGIERS 67 

qualites de la musique, sans lesquelles la musique 
n'est que du bruit. Aussi son talent ne s'impose 
pas ; c'est le rayon de soleil de la fable qui, plus 
surement que le vent impetueux, force le voyageur 
a se debarrasser de son manteau. M. Bache 
connait tous ces tours de force qui consistent a 
jouer du piano avec la tete ou les pieds et qui nous 
rapelle toujours les exercises des freres Braquet ; il 
a le bon gout de ne pas employer ces moyens uses 
dont I'art veritable n'a pas besoin et qui souvent 
ne servent qu'k deguiser I'absence d'idee et de 
sentiment. 

Les compositions de M. Bache se distinguent 
par les memes qualites que nous avons signalees 
dans son talent d'executant ; elles ne constituent 
pas des chefs-d'oeuvre, mais bien peu de com- 
positeurs en ont produit au debut de leur carriere. 
Pour nous, nous avons la conviction que M. Bache 
est appele a prendre place parmi les bons com- 
positeurs contemporains, lorsque I'age et I'etude 
auront donne a son talent la maturite qu'il n'a pas 
encore. Son Andante et Rondo Polonaise est une 
GEuvre bien traitee, ecrite pour orchestre et qu'il a 
du arranger en quintette pour en simplifier I'execu- 
tion ; tous les morceaux qu'il a joues encore se 
font remarquer par une melodie toujours heureuse 
et une harmonie simple et variee. Nous croyons 
cependant que I'avenir de IVT. Bache n'est pas dans 
la composition des grandes ceuvres symphoniques, 
et que son talent se preterait mieux a la production 
des drames lyriques, pour lesquels il semble posseder 
des qualites reelles. 

5—2 



68 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

To HIS Father. 

April i^, 1856, 

H&tel de Paris, Algiers. 

Dear Papa, 

The day after Mr. Dendy and Addyes 
left, appeared, to my great astonishment, an article 
in the principal Algiers paper about me, hoping I 
would give a concert, and saying they would apply 
to my Consul to prevent my leaving till I had 
done so. I wish I had a copy to send you, as it 
was so very pleasantly and nicely written. . . . 

The concert knocked me up a little, owing to 
the enormous quantity of preliminary formalities 
to be gone through with the authorities of the 
town, before one can get an authorization to give 
a concert ; it took place six days ago, and I have 
done nothing at all but amuse myself and write 
my letters since, and am now quite well again. 

My plans are to stay here three or four weeks 
longer, then go into the country for a few days' 
run, and then to Paris about the second week in 
May. My reason for going to Paris is that I 
wish to strike while the iron is hot, and make a 
little beginning in France. I shall have first-rate 
introductions from here, as you may imagine. I 
purpose staying two or three months in Paris, and 
then going to Leipzig, where I wish to winter if I 
am safe in so doing. I will have advice on that 
point. . . . 

I wish now to urge again my wishes for Walter. 
As far as I see, he has a false notion of the musical 
profession, and I cannot tell, placed as he is, 



1856] ALGIERS 69 

whether his feeling is a love for the art itself, or 
a wish for the notoriety he would hope to get by 
it. In the latter case the sooner he is disabused 
of the feeling the better, and nothing could be 
more conducive to that end than what I am going 
to propose to you. In his last letter to me he 
asked me, quite innocently, how long I thought it 
would take him to get a name, like mine, for 
instance ; of course this is a wrong feeling. If 
however he be a true artist, what I am going to 
propose will be much better than the life he is 
now leading, in which he is not making progress, 
as it is distasteful to him. If he be placed in a 
position to study quietly and without excitement 
(of notoriety, etc.), a year will determine whether 
it be the real thing or not, and he will learn to be 
a man and know himself 

I propose then that he go to Leipzig next 
autumn and enter the Conservatory. He will 
learn, in addition to music, German, and perfect 
himself in French, and begin Italian if he likes. 
That quiet, hard-working German life will soon 
find him out if he is not a true artist, and will 
dispose him to settle down into business in 
England hereafter ; if he be a true artist, not an 
instant ought to be lost in removing him from his 
present false impressions. As to money matters, 
his yearly expenses will be ;^8o or £<)o, of which 
I undertake to ■pay half. By my next letter I 
shall know the exact receipts of my concert here, 
and will put them at once at your disposition for 
this purpose. They may be even ^^25 ; I cannot 



70 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

yet tell exactly. When I go from Paris to Leipzig, 
I could take him and locate him in some pleasant 
family there, where he would be cared for and 
made happy. . . . 

Let me know as soon as possible what you 
think of this. In the meantime urge him to get 
on with his German and French, and with his 
organ playing and harmony lessons. In Leipzig 
he would not have much chance of organ playing. 



V 

PARIS LEIPZIG 

1856 

r>Y the end of April the weather naturally 
drove Edward Bache from Algiers. He 
went straight to Paris, where it was his hope to 
obtain a footing with a view to future publications, 
etc. He writes thence : — 

To HIS Father. 

3, Rue de Choiseul, Paris, 
May 9, 1856. 

I am now comfortably settled, and can write 
you more at ease. I do not wish nor intend to 
stop more than six weeks or so in Paris, my sole 
object being to make a little beginning now, to be 
of future use, which I am enabled to do by the 
excellent letters of introduction I have brought 
from Algiers. From here, I shall go into Germany ; 
Mr. Kistner has written to me, and wishes more of 
my compositions. For next winter I shall of course 
be content to go South again, if it be deemed neces- 



72 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

sary, though I should have preferred wintering in 
Germany. However I shall follow Mr. Aikin's^ 
advice. 

Now I want to turn to another subject. You 
appear to look forward to my some time or other 
returning to England, and resuming the career 
and life I have now been obliged to leave. Nothing 
can be further from my wishes or intentions. I 
have always wished to be an artist, not a professor, 
and have only played an organ and given lessons 
because it was absolutely necessary to live. All 
this time however I have been getting older and 
more known ; and I really hope I shall for the 
future be able to do without teaching, and live by 
my writings, all the more so that I hope soon to 
get my price on the Continent as well as in 
England. 

The common saying that England is no place 
for artists is too true. If a composer or executant 
have already arrived at the very top of glory and 
reputation, then he comes to England to make 
money for a year or so ; bx:jt no young artist has 
ever grown up and ripened into a respectable 
maturity in England. I feel every day the bad 
influences English life has already exerted on me 
as an artist, and I am only too glad to get out of 
them. I hope to come to England from time to 
time to give concerts and try to do as much as I 
can in that way ; but, if I can avoid it by any 
means, I will never return to the professor's 
career. 

1 His doctor in London. 



1856] PARIS 73 

If Addison renews my engagement and I am 
also paid in Germany, I shall be already pretty 
independent ; and then I hope to make something 
from time to time by concerts. 

Now you must not think I am discontented 
with the way I personally have been treated in 
England ; on the contrary I have met with kind- 
ness which cannot be surpassed on every side ; 
but, on the other hand, as an artist I have had no 
chance, and have not been fairly paid. I cannot 
bring out an opera in England, nor if I could 
should I get well paid for it. If I had been a 
Frenchman, I should now be deriving an income 
of j^200 or ^300 a year from the theatre, and be 
secure in it, being legislated for and even represented 
in the Senate. We have no musical composers in 
Parliament. Fancy Sterndale Bennett being elected 
member for the musical interest in England ! And 
yet on the Continent it is so. 

Somewhat in the same strain he writes the 
following : — 

To Mr. Ingram. 

3, Rue de Choiseul, Paris, 
May 31, 1856. 

Dear old Fogey, ^ 

I shall be very glad to see you, as I have 
so many things to talk to you about, as my life 

1 His nickname for his friend; Bache, who was a few 
years Mr. Ingram's junior, was "Young Scamp." 



74 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

has been so changed in every way by this illness. 
In the first place, I lose my engagement at 
Addison's by not returning to England ; this is a 
pity, pecuniarily speaking ; but otherwise it will 
set me free to work on some longer work than I 
have hitherto had time to do, and I have enough 
to live upon for eighteen months or two years ; 
so I intend to trust in Providence for what 
happens, and do the best I can meanwhile. I 
could not now well return to England, even if I 
wanted, as Mr. Aikin orders me most imperatively 
to pass next winter again in a warm climate, and 
in fact I feel that it is necessary by certain un- 
mistakable symptoms whenever the weather is at 
all cold even now. So it may be several years 
before I see you again (between you and me this, 
if you please), as I am now determined to do some- 
thing on the Continent by some means or other, 
and shall therefore very likely not see England 
again for many years, on account of the expense of 
the journey, as I shall have to be very economical, 
not having Addison's engagement to look to. 

I am advised seriously to devote myself to the 
dramatic career, and it certainly is the one for 
which I feel myself most fitted ; but people here 
say I must not do everything ; that I must take 
either to pianoforte playing and composition or to 
the stage, but not to both ; if I take to the theatre 
now, it will be many years perhaps before I shall 
be able to support myself ; but if I do ultimately 
succeed, I shall have a much better position than 
I could ever otherwise attain. 



i8s6] PARIS 75 

I saw Schulhoff ^* the other day, he was very 
friendly ; he said, " You do not sufRciently 
elaborate your P. F. music ; there are effects in it 
which belong to the orchestra and not to the 
piano, and you ought to make them into piano 
effects." He said my ideas were capital, and that 
I should easily attain the other by working ; I 
know I should, but in doing so I should lose the 
definite clearness which is necessary for opera or 
oratorio writing. 

When you write, give me Deichmann's address ; 
of course I hope he'll give the concerts and make 
plenty of money by them, as I am not a dog in the 
manger. Berger is getting on capitally, I am glad 
to say. 

In June he went back to his old quarters at 
Leipzig. His friends there, especially Mr. Kistner, 
welcomed him warmly, and he settled down happily 
for some months. He writes as follows to 
Mr. Ingram : — 

Leipzig, 

August, 1856. 
Dear old Fogey, 

I am living the most lazy, quiet and 
regular life in the world here. ... I am 
studying Italian like bricks, and hope to have laid 
a thorough good foundation by the time I go 
there. Also I have been practising the piano 
hard, and now play several of Thalberg's " go's 

1 Julius Schulhoff, 1825-1898; pianist and composer; was 
living in Paris during the same period as Chopin. 



76 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

in," which I was not previously up to. I have as 
yet composed nothing, the spirit not having moved 
me. I spend most of my evenings at Kistner's, 
who has got a piano in on my account, and it 
gives him great pleasure I think to hear some 
music, and I am sure it does me to please him. 
Also I know the Vogels'^ here, the family of the 
young African traveller now in Central Africa, so 
that I am jolly well off for pleasant society. I 
have not got my old rooms, as they are occupied, 
but another quite as jolly with my old land- 
lady. ... 

Yours very respectfiilly, 

And at a great distance, 

Young Scamp. 

To the same : — 

Leipzig, 

August 15, 1856. 
Dear George, 

I have seen lately much of old Carl 
Mayer,2 ^}iq came over to see Kistner last week, 

^ The late Dr. Vogel was one of the most notable men in 
Leipzig, and several members of his family highly dis- 
tinguished themselves later on. His son Edward, the African 
explorer, went out there in 1 854, in the service of the English 
Government, in search of Barth and Overweg. Dr. Vogel's 
elder daughter Frau Elise Polko (1823-1899), the authoress, 
is perhaps best known in England by her writings on 
Mendelssohn ; and the youngest son Hermann is now 
Astronomer-Royal at Potsdam. At one time there had been 
negotiations on foot for Bache to live with the Vogels, but 
unfortunately this project was not carried out. 

2 Carl Mayer, 1 799-1 862 ; pianist, teacher and prolific 
composer. Pupil of John Field, the "English Chopin," in 
St. Petersburg. 



1856] LEIPZIG 77 

He made great friends with me, and we made 
plenty of music (as the Germans say) together. 
He is perhaps the last in Germany of the Hummel 
school of piano playing and composition ; his 
playing is the most delicately perfect I ever heard, 
and his compositions are very finished, notwith- 
standing that he has a tremendous facility of 
production. . . . 

The music of the future, of which we met so 
zealous a disciple in Homburg,^ is already con- 
sidered as passe in Leipzig. The publishers can't 
sell the quantity they have already bought, and 
decline further dealings. 

Rubinstein, the Russian pianist, is here, with 
three new Quintetts, three Sonatas for P. F. with 
Violin, Viola and Violoncello, and an Oratorio^ 
which he says he has composed for England ; but, 
as far as I can hear, the publishers won't bite. I 
think in a year or so will be a good time for 
simple musical music again. 

I must conclude, as I wish to write to Broad- 
woods to express my sorrow at their terrible 
misfortune.^ 

Old Fogey, yours. 

Young Scamp. 

The following letter is to Mr. Killick Morley, 
a well-known concert-impresario at Greenwich 
and Blackheath. Bache had been engaged to play 

1 There is no indication to whom he here refers. 

2 Probably "Paradise Lost." See "Letters of Franz 
Liszt," vol. i., pp. 283, 284. 

^ A fire at the pianoforte factory. 



78 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

at one of his concerts more than a year previously, 
but ere the date arrived had been imperatively 
ordered abroad by his doctor : — 

Leipzig, 

August zj, 1856. 

Dear Mr. Morley, 

I was much gratified at receiving your kind 
letter which showed that the old proverb " Out of 
sight, out of mind " is not always true. I should 
have been delighted to play at your concert next 
winter if there were any chance of my returning 
so soon to England. As it is, however, I do not 
expect to return for a year or two at all events, 
and therefore must again decline your kind offer ; 
but next time I am in England I shall consider I 
owe you a concert if you think it then worth 
while to take it out of me. My health is now 
pretty well restored ; but, as I have now been on 
two occasions dangerously ill in London, I do not 
wish to return to a life which has proved so 
unsuitable for me. I hope now I have done with 
teaching, as that always vexed and worried me so 
as to make me ill. 

Next year I shall probably spend in Italy and 
study opera composition diligently, after which I 
shall try to fix myself in Paris, coming over to 
London for the season every year. My pieces are 
now making a beginning in Germany, and also in 
Paris I have found publishers willing to make the 
experiment with me, so that in two or three more 
years I hope what I write will be a pretty sufficient 



1856] LEIPZIG 79 

income for my small wants, and I shall at all 
events always add something to it by concert 
giving and playing. So much for my plans, with 
which I would not have troubled you but for 
the kind interest you showed in your letter. I 
have not printed anything lately, and shall 
probably not do so before Christmas, as I am 
studying hard just now, and am desirous to make 
an improvement in my next pieces. I do not 
yet know whether I shall play in Germany this 
winter ; probably I shall, however, if my health 
continues good. 

I am very much obliged for your kind invita- 
tion to visit you in Greenwich, which I shall be 
happy to accept next time I come to England. 

The " Leipzig Fair " of those days was an 
event. Writing to his sister Margaret in 
September, he says : — 

The great fair begins here next week, and for 
four weeks Leipzig will be like a mad-house. 
You have no idea of the scene ; all nations and all 
costumes and all languages, i.e., northern ones. 

To Mr. Foster Barham. 

Leipzig, 

September 15, 1856. 

If you were not so old a friend, I should not 
have used you so hardly in the way of writing to 
you so seldom, but I have presumed upon your 
indulgence. However, here goes in answer to 
your last jolly epistle. . . . My next move will 



8o F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

be for Italy, and I think it will very probably be 
two or three years before I return to England. I 
feel more and more how bad a place is England 
for artistic development, in music, at all events ; 
money is the ruin of young artists there, who find 
teaching, etc., far too profitable to be neglected in 
favour of continued artistic improvement. Also, 
supposing a man could arrange his life so as to 
have a great part of his time free for art, he finds 
no artistic emulation and warmth, which are neces- 
sary. Here I know that if I can do a good thing 
it is sure to succeed ; in England on the contrary 
I had to write down occasionally, and had no 
opportunities of improvement. So I think most 
probably I shall finally settle in Paris, as being 
the centre of art, and at the same time near 
London and my English friends. But my next 
move from here will be to study opera composi- 
tion one year at least in Italy, and then I shall see 
clearer what to do afterwards. At all events I 
wish to avoid the professor's life in London at 
every cost. . . . 

I am very much improved with P. F. playing 
lately, and am also studying Italian. I have 
composed not a note for four months, as I am 
rather in a student mood than a creative or 
poetical. . . . 

About Heller's music I perfectly agree with 
you; it is dreamy, poetical, beautifully written,- 
and eccentric. Chopin is a genius of the first 
order, who had only one means of expressing his 
thoughts, viz., the P. F. ; I find his large works 



i8s6] LEIPZIG 8 1 

with Orchestra as horrible as his P. F. solo works 
are beautiful. In this he is below the first rank 
of great composers. 

I have played lately much of Schumann's music, 
and every successive piece increases my dislike to 
it in toto. He has musical learning enough, but 
everything is confused, and noisy (the Schumannites 
say deep), and when you do hear a melody it is 
not at all original. I admire more and more the 
much abused Italian school, and wish to devote 
myself to it, as I consider it the only great and 
beautiful school. The German school is great and 
grotesque, the French piquant, but not deep ; in 
the Italian I find the most perfect representation 
of all I have ever dreamt of as most beautiful. 
Of course the great German masters are above 
School, though I cannot ever come to admire the 
latter works of Beethoven, which I believe are the 
cause of the false direction music has of late taken 
in Germany; these people imitate Beethoven's 
occasional mistiness, without his ever present 
lovely melodies, and former quantity of clear and 
lucid works. 

This letter, though containing such sweeping 
strictures — which the lapse of time and the strides 
of music have now relegated to the shelf — yet 
seems deserving of insertion here, as explaining 
the direction Bache's aims and hopes took, and 
showing why he was so devoted to Italian music, 
and so determined to push on into the traditional 
land of melody. 
6 



82 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

He came on the borderland, as it were, between 
the old and the new. The "Music of the 
Future " had not yet become the music of the 
present ; the world was still shy of Beethoven in 
his later periods ; and Bache was not by any 
means alone in his reviling of Schumann and the 
Berlioz-Liszt -Wagner school. Today therefore, 
when these latter have become as everyday food 
to us, it may not be amiss for the younger 
musicians to read of that time, so near and yet 
so distant, when things musical were exactly the 
other way round. Looking back from our 
present vantage-point, we see how today has 
been the outcome of yesterday ; but looking 
forward from the time when Bache was writing, 
it was not so easy to foresee the succession of 
earthquakes and thunder-storms which were about 
to clear the musical horizon. 

Nor must it be inferred that, had he lived to 
the present time, he would have held to the 
opinions he then expressed. They are only given 
for what they are worth historically, that is, to 
show the enormous upheaval which the past forty 
years have seen in musical matters. As a picture 
of the times when they were written, apart from 
any biographical interest attaching to them, many 
of these letters supply a page or so of musical 
history, with here and there naive remarks that 



1 856] LEIPZIG 83 

are good for all time. For instance, in the remark 
about the " false direction music had taken " ; for 
Beethoven substitute Wagner, and it applies today. 
For who can deny that, just as we had a whole 
Bodleian Library of sweet trivialities following 
in the wake of Mendelssohn's " Songs without 
Words," so we are today being deluged with a 
British - Museum - full of profundities emanating 
(though how far away!) from Richard Wagner. 

The following sentences show what despairing 
work at times his profession was to Bache, pulled 
up as he constantly was by his impaired health : — 

To Mr. Ingram. 

Leipzig, 

October 7, 1856. 

I expect to leave here for Florence or Rome in 
two or three weeks' time ; I did wish to stay the 
winter if possible here, as in that case I should 
have played in the Gewandhaus Concerts, and in 
many other towns in North Germany, and thus 
made myself known as a writer as well as player. 
But the late cold weather has shown me that it is 
impossible ; in fact I think I should die if I were 
to try. So there again are my musical wishes 
knocked on the head, and just when I was in 
particularly good trim as regards P. F. playing. 
My wish is now to settle in Rome or Florence for 
two or three years, and give a few lessons to live 
by, and thus be able to pursue my studies quietly 
6—2 



84 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

and at the same time keep my health ; I am sick 
and tired of moving about. 

It was in October of this year that he made the 
acquaintance of Mr. C. A. Barry,^ the well-known 
litterateur and musical critic. The latter had 
come to Leipzig in pursuance of his musical 
studies ; and, having already had a couple of 
years in Cologne under Ferdinand Hiller,^ was 
to a certain extent " Schumannized " when he and 
Bache first met. During the month that Edward 
still remained there, they dined together nearly 
every day, and had much discussion on the vexed 
question of the "music of the future." As will 
be seen from a letter quoted a few pages back, 
Bache could not go with him on the subject of 
Schumann ; but, as a set-ofF against this, he waxed 
enthusiastic over dear old Bach, whose forty-eight 
Preludes and Fugues he was ready to pit against 
anything. The Fugue in D major ^ 



i-i --g --^=i;=g=g=gzrg: 



M^E^^^ 



1 The "C. A. B." of the Richter and Crystal Palace 
concert programmes. 

^ Dr. Ferdinand Hiller, 1811-1885, distinguished as com- 
poser, conductor, pianist and writer ; first director of the 
Cologne Conservatorium. 

^ See also Part II., p. 294. 



i8s6] LEIPZIG 85 

he likened to the meeting of some robbers in a 
cave, where they discussed their plans, very quietly 
at first, but afterwards uproariously. The argument 
from this was that it should begin very piano, 
working up to a climax later on. 

On quitting Leipzig, Mr. Barry went with him 
to the station to see him off ; and at parting Bache 
told him he had made a vow that he would not 
leave Leipzig till he had completed his P. F, 
Concerto. Mr. Barry writes : " The day before 
he started he played it to some critics, Rietz^ 
taking the orchestral parts on a second piano. 
Objection was taken to certain passages as being 
somewhat stale. So he sat up half the night to 
alter them, and thus kept his vow. I recall that 
on passing the theatre he looked forward to future 
triumphs there ; for he was contemplating an 
Opera." 

On the eve of leaving Leipzig he writes : — 

To HIS Father. 

Leipzig, 

November 18, 1856. 
Dear Papa, 

At last I have done everything, and am 
ready to go the day after tomorrow, the 20th. 
I will write to you on the journey, and as soon as 

^ Julius Rietz, 1812-1877; violoncellist, composer and 
eminent conductor. 



86 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

I arrive either in Florence or Rome. If the 
weather be fine I should like to go via Florence, 
and stay a fortnight and present my numerous 
letters, amongst which several from friends in 
Algiers ; but if it be bad, I shall be anxious to 
get settled as soon as possible in Rome, and shall 
then go via Ancona from Trieste direct. We 
have now had ice and snow here several days ; I 
never felt better in my life, but I have taken great 
care of myself, and have worn my respirator for 
three weeks. ... I shall be very sorry to leave 
Leipzig, because I have some very good friends 
here, and feel quite at home here ; but in music 
the place is more and more uncongenial to me. 

About Walter, I have but one idea ; and that 
is, if he makes music his profession, we must have 
him become a first-rate pianist, and that can best 
be done from fifteen to eighteen or nineteen years 
of age. With this, and a little organ playing, he 
can always get a respectable living when once 
started, and any success beyond that must depend 
on himself The want of mechanical dexterity on 
an instrument has been my greatest drawback ; I 
began to take to composition so early that my 
playing suffered. 

My wish for Walter would be for him to come 
at first to Leipzig for two or three years on 
leaving school. I could arrange for his living in 
some respectable family for ;£45 a year (prices are 
risen since the war here), and he ought to do with 
j^8o a year thus altogether. I believe piano play- 
ing is better taught here than anywhere else. In 



i8s6] LEIPZIG 87 

this I should not be competent to direct him ; but 
afterwards, when he had attained a first-class 
mechanism, if he were to come and live with me I 
could then give him all the assistance he wanted. 
He would be in good hands here, as I could in- 
troduce him to so many friends. 

The piano teacher's name here, of whom I think 
so highly, is Louis Plaidy ;^ he is almost always 
successful with his pupils. When this mechanism 
is once attained, one depends on one's own brains 
for further development. My misfortune is that 
I have never had the regular course necessary for 
this ; and now, of course, it would be waste of 
time, as I can spend my time better in composing 
than in practising. 

This is then my wish for Walter, if it can be 
realized. If I find myself in Rome in a position 
to help you, of course I shall do so ; but I cannot 
yet make any promises, as all is yet uncertainty. 

With best love to all at home. 
Believe me. 

Your very affectionate son, 

F. Edward Bache. 

He started for Italy on November 20, going 
by way of Dresden and Vienna. In the former 
city he saw once more Carl Mayer ; and at Vienna 
a still greater honour was in store for him, in a 

'^ Louis Plaidy, 1 8 10-1874 5 °"^ °f ^^^ leading Professors 
at the Leipzig Conservatorium ; especially renowned for his 
technical teaching. 



88 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

visit to the veteran Czerny.^ He writes to his 
father on November 29 : — 

I played today to an old musical patriarch, 
who has probably in his long life published more 
music than any man who ever lived. I mean old 
Carl Czerny, the intimate friend and pupil of 
Beethoven, Hummel, etc. He was most kind to 
me, and encouraged me much. He keeps on un- 
ceasingly composing ; he could not exist without 
it, I believe. 

The old master, the " Nestor of Piano Com- 
posers," as Mr. Kistner styled him in presenting 
his autograph letter to the Rev. Samuel Bache a 
few months later, lost no time in communicating 
to Mr. Kistner the impression young Bache had 
made upon him. The following is his letter : — 

Herrn Jul. Kistner in Leipzig. 

Wien, 

■^ote November, 1856. 

Geehrtester Herr UNO Freund, 

Mit wahrer Vergniigen habe ich Herrn 
Bache kennen gelernt, und Ihr giinstiges Urtheil 
iiber den interessanten jungen Mann voUkommen 
bestattigt gefunden. Er ist ein wohlorganisirter 
Kopf, und — frey von so manchen Extravaganzen 

1 Carl Czerny, 1791-1857 ; pupil and friend of Beethoven ; 
teacher of Liszt ; excellent pianoforte teacher ; prolific com- 
poser, especially of scholastic works. 



1856] WIEN 89 

der neuren Zeit — besitzt er einen gesunden rich- 
tigen Sinn fiir classisch geregelte Form und fur 
natiirliche Melodic. Diess fand ich namentlich in 
seinem Concert, dass er mir mit gewandtem, nach 
guter Schule gebildetem Spiel vortrug, und in dem 
auch die Orchesterinstrumentation sehr verstandig 
angewandt ist. Mdge nur seine korperliche 
Gesundheit sich auch recht befestigen ; er wird 
dann der musikalischen Welt gewiss manche 
Freude machen. Morgen (Montag) wird er schon 
seine Reise nach Italien antreten, und leid thut es 
mir, ihn nicht langer bey uns zu sehen. Aber 
heuer ist hier die Witterung bereits ungewohnlich 
streng. Heute (Sonntag) wird ihn unser Ex 
Bascha Joseph als Cicerone in die Hofcapelle, 
sodann ins Gesellschaftconcert u.s.w. fiihren, dass 
er wenigstens etwas von unsern musikalischen 
Ziistanden erfahre. 

Carl Czerny. 

Translation. 

To Herr Jul. Kistner in Leipzig. 

Vienna, 

November 30, 1856. 

Dear Sir and Friend, 

It is with real pleasure that I have made 
the acquaintance of Mr. Bache, and found your 
favourable opinion of the interesting young man 
fully confirmed. He has a well-balanced mind, 
and — free from so many extravagances of recent 
times — he possesses a sound and just appreciation 



90 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

of accepted classical form and of natural melody. 
This was especially apparent in his Concerto, which 
he played me with a skill and execution acquired 
in a good school, and in which also the orchestral 
instrumentation is employed with great discretion. 
If only his bodily health be re-established, he will 
then assuredly give much pleasure to the world of 
music. Tomorrow (Monday) he starts on his 
journey to Italy ; and I am sorry not to see him 
amongst us longer. But this year the changes of 
weather are already unusually trying. Today 
(Sunday) our Ex Bascha Joseph is to be his 
cicerone, and take him to the Hofcafelle, then 
into the Gesellschaftconcert, etc., so that he may at 
least know something of our musical surroundings. 

Carl Czerny. 

A competent critic has remarked that Edward 
Bache's improvement in pianoforte playing was 
very noticeable after his return from Algiers, par- 
ticularly in style : the charm of a bright ingenuous 
nature, developed by thought and opportunity. 




^ t)lj-ii^fJ^\^/i^tA.^ 



VI 

ROME ENGLAND THE END 

1856 

To Mr. Ingram. 

19, Via del Leone, 1""° piano, Rome, 
December 29, 1856. 

A S I am now fairly settled here, I do not think 
I can do better than write to you. When 
you go up to our house, my father will read you my 
letters to him, so that I will not write over again 
what I have there said. As to my journey from 
Trieste here, by way of Venice, Bologna and 
Florence, I have very little to tell you, as it was 
very cold weather all the time, and I had to take 
the greatest care of myself to avoid falling ill. 
Even with all my care, I have been laid up ever 
since my arrival in Rome. . . . 

In Trieste I heard two operas of Verdi's at the 
grand theatre ; the orchestra and chorus are toler- 
able, and the three principal singers were really 
excellent, as far as one can judge by hearing only 
Verdi. The tenor had a magnificent voice, and 



92 F. EDWARD BACHE [1856 

knew how to sing cantabile well. The prima 
donna sang elegantly, and not noisily, and phrased 
her music perfectly. This is the theatre where 
Ricci is director. You know in Italy the director 
only rehearses the opera ; in the performances 
there is no conductor ; the first violin leads, as 
used to be the case before Costa's time in London. 
The result is sometimes a want of precision, very 
different from German clockwork playing ; how- 
ever they accompanied at Trieste the delicate parts 
beautifully. 

In Florence the autumn season was just finished, 
and the Carnival not begun, so I heard no music. 
Rome is considered a bad town for operas ; there 
are two opera theatres ; one for grand opera, 
where Albertini is prima donna this season, and 
where I have not yet been, but am told the 
orchestra and chorus are bearable ; the other for 
comic opera, where I went the other night ; there 
were two comic basses, who were very amusing 
indeed, and not bad, but rather coarse after being 
accustomed to Ronconi and Lablache ; the prima 
donna, tenor, chorus and orchestra would be hissed 
at Holder's saloon in Birmingham, so villainous 
were they. . . . 

I heard the vocal music at the Sistine Chapel 
the other Sunday, and candidly thought it abomin- 
able. . . . 

I see by the Paris papers that Piccolomini has 
failed, as I expected she would, being neither 
actress nor singer of any capability, beyond parts 
such as Miss Laura Honey would do just as well ; 



1857] ROME 93 

I think her success, and Albertini's failure, a dis- 
grace to the English public. Albertini is con- 
sidered all over Italy a very great artist. . . . 

In Florence and Rome one sees scarcely any 
Italians, but English, Americans and Germans 
everywhere. The Italians keep very retired. 
However, I have caught glimpses occasionally 
of some of those lovely faces which put all the 
world to shame. 

In Rome he soon had a pleasant circle of 
friends, which included Miss Cushman, Mme. 
Ungher-Sabatier, Mrs. Gaskell the authoress, with 
her daughters, and many others ; and the winter 
would have been a thoroughly congenial one, had 
it not again been interrupted by failing health. 
The cold of Italian houses, with their marble 
floors and absence of fires, chilled him through 
and through, and a severe attack of illness 
followed. Barely recovered from this, he was 
at work again, and in April gave a concert in 
Rome, which was most successful. 

To Mr. Ingram. 

52 Capo le Case, Rome, 

April zz, 1857. 

My concert is now over ; it made furore and 
j^6o net for my pocket. My pupils are all going 
away now, and the season is over ; the weather is 
now beautiful and warm, and I have nice lodgings, 
so I shall get on splendidly. I shall stay here till 



94 F. EDWARD BACHE [1857 

the beginning of June in order to be quiet ; the 
climate is healthy till the middle of June, so no 
nonsense on that point. Now I'll tell you all the 
truth about myself and my health : I have never 
once spit blood nor had the slightest weakness on 
my chest since I left England, so there is no 
danger on that score. I do not believe I have 
any need of a warm climate more now than years 
ago. But, I suffer from my heart, and shall ever 
be obliged for my whole life to live quietly ; any 
exertion gives me palpitation, and, if I cannot at 
once rest, a kind of cutting pain, I suppose a kind 
of pleurisy. This is what I suffer from, and shall 
ever have to guard against ; for this I find lesson- 
giving the worst thing I can do. I am stout and 
healthy-looking, only I must avoid violent or over 
exertion. I am now fatigued with the season, and 
not so jolly as I was when you saw me in Paris 
last summer, but rest will set me up again. 

Now you and other friends wonder why I 
worked this season in Rome, when I had money 
enough to live upon without. For the simple 
reason that when I arrived here my whole worldly 
possessions were ;^i5o, of which the season here 
would have swamped ^^80 at least, leaving me 
£'jo to return to England and begin again utterly 
without hope. My dear George, I cannot make 
my career in England ; I hope to come there 
again and bring the fruits of my labour, and 
earn money occasionally ; but musical taste is not 
yet sufficiently advanced in England to make a 
composer's career possible. We have no opera, 



I8S7] ROME 95 

and bad music will sell better than good. I now 
feel more and more the power {entre nous, of 
course, for others would call this conceited) to 
please in a certain class of composition. This is 
then the duty of my life. If I can now hold out 
a few years more, 1 shall be in a position to 
command high prices for good works for the 
rest of my life ; if I gave in how, I should be 
obliged to lead again the professor's life, which 
would kill me in a few months, without my 
friends again helped me. I do not wish to be 
helped if I can possibly get on without, but I 
will never return to the professor's career in 
England ; I could not, it would break my heart. 

Now I have really made great success with 
every step I have taken on the Continent. 
Besides Kistner, Andre of Offenbach is now 
going to take my music, and I shall soon make 
a start also in Italy. If I chose now to abandon 
my intention of opera-writing, and devote myself 
to piano playing and that class of composition, I 
could now make as much money yearly on the 
Continent, with continually increasing fame, as I 
could make in England by drudgery without a 
hope of reputation in the end. This even I do 
not wish to do ; I wish to keep my piano playing 
and composition as much in the background as 
possible, so as to be known afterwards as a com- 
poser only.^ I shall always have them as a 
resource. . . . 

When you see Mrs. , you can immensely 

1 He probably means as an opera-composer. 



96 F. EDWARD BACHE [1857 

raise her opinion of me, by telling her that I have 
known most of the grand English people here this 
winter, also many foreigners. Ambassadors, etc., 
without counting playing before the King of 
Bavaria, who by the way looks an old snob, 
and Queen Christina of Spain, who is the fattest 
old lady I ever saw. 

One of my best friends here is Mme. Ungher- 
Sabatier (the Ungher mentioned together with 
Sontag in Moscheles' life of Beethoven). She is 
now retired wealthy from a most successful career, 
chiefly in Italy, where she has been written for by 
Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Ricci and others. She 
lives with her husband and daughter in Florence, 
and I count much upon her advice in my studies, 
and subsequent help to make a start, as her word 
goes a long way with impresarii, etc. She also 
taught Albertini, who is very fond of her. 

To Mr. Foster Barham. 

52 Capo le Case, Rome, 

May 10, 1857. 

I have now enough funds, with what I earn by 
my compositions, to live for two years without doing 
anything else ; so I am now going to carry out 
my life's dream of studying Italian opera com- 
position. . . . 

I do not know whether I shall live to realize 
my ambition, as I feel already that my constitu- 
tion is the worse for wear ; but I am determined 
to die in the effort, if I do die. What you say 
of ambition applies differently to the business man 



1857] ROME 97 

and to the artist. The business man's success is 
riches honestly gained ; the artist's success is works 
done. . . . 

Rome has done my health as much harm as 
Algiers did good, and whether I shall ever get 
right again or not, I know not. At present I am 
obliged to live almost a hermit's life, to keep from 
being absolutely ill. Don't talk about this ; but 
my coming to Rome was the greatest possible 
mistake. The climate here is the coldest (damp, 
cavernous cold) I have yet felt in my life, and the 
occasional bursts of hot sun only increase one's 
constant fever. It may do for rich people who can 
afford English comforts, but for a poor fellow it is 
better to stay at home. 

The illusory hopes, which had buoyed him up 
during his remaining time in Rome, were again 
shattered by another attack of illness on the voyage 
from Civita Vecchia to Genoa. He now made for 
home, where his state became more and more 
serious. Here he remained very quietly until 
October, when he was again driven to seek the 
shelter of a milder climate. 

Mr. Kistner's failing health had obliged him at 
this time to try what the baths of Carlsbad would 
do for him, and the following sentences are 
extracted from a letter he wrote to Bache about 
this period : — 

7 



98 F. EDWARD BACHE [1857 

Pauline,^ who brings you her best regards, 
would be very glad to show you her citchen-pro- 
gresses, and all attentions for your service. Till 
now I am very glad that I took the resolution to 
take she with me, because without a good servant 
a poor ill man like me could not exist here. Very 
often the desperation visits me, and under the 
influence of dreadful pains, and the lost Paradise of 
health, separated of all my friends, before me the 
winter time, with all the monotonie of a little 
town, it is not a wunder to lost the courage. Your 
fate is a more better. The Isle of Wight must be 
wonderful, and a State there, with all the English 
comforts, and the cream of good Society, and fine 
English beauties, is certainly an more envious loss 
[lot .?] than the mine. But I am glad that I have 
the conviction that you are better, and so I will 
content me with my destiny, and beg you only to 
enjoy you for me in the Italian Singers and music, 
who are for me for ever " pia desideria." 

God bless you ! And I shake your hands. 

J. KiSTNER. 

A few interesting details of Leipzig doings 
appear in the following from Mr. Kistner to Bache, 
in November, 1857 : — 

My dear young Friend, 

***** 
Jenny Lind Goldschmidt sings here in the 
Pensions Concert with the greatest success, and 

1 His servant. The letter is transcribed exactly as written. 



i8s7] TORQUAY 99 

will sing a second time the 1 7th December. In the 
next concert plays Piatti of London, and next 
month I hope to see here my love, Charlotte 
Dolby, and E. Pauer^. . . . 

You write so good German, that I have not 
necessary to write on you in my bad English. 

Rubinstein is also here, and played a new Trio 
in the Quartett, but without success. A new 
Simphonie was a little better. 

Torquay was selected by the doctors to be 
Edward's headquarters for this winter, and thither 
he went at the first approach of cold weather, but it 
was now too late to stay the progress of his fatal 
disease. It could but be alleviated, not eradicated. 

In spite of all drawbacks, he nevertheless 
succeeded in giving a concert at Torquay in 
February 1858. The room was crowded, and the 
concert eminently successful. This was his last 
appearance in public as an executant. Once again, 
only, he came before the public, within three 
weeks of his untimely death. 

He had returned to his home, with the returning 
of Spring, never to quit it again, save for one short 
journey to London in June to see old friends. The 
following, written on May 8, reveals the actual 
state of his health : — 

1 Mr. Ernst Pauer, born in Vienna ; passed most of his 
life in London, where he was well known as Professor, pianist 
and composer. 

7—2 



100 F. EDWARD BACHE [1858 

Dear Mr Hipkins, 

I write you a line to let you know that I 
returned home from Torquay this day (Friday) 
week. . . . 

I cannot give you a very good account of 
myself; my left lung is entirely gone, and the 
doctors do not agree whether the right one is 
touched or not ; so I look upon my days as 
numbered. However it is not my doing, and I 
must submit. . . . 

I hope to go abroad again this year, so as to 
pass next winter in a warm climate. I may live 
many years I believe by taking great care, though 
any exertion or exposure would do for me at once. 

Please remember me most kindly to my friends 
at 2>l)i Great Pulteney Street, particularly to your 
brother-in-law,^ and 

Believe me, 

Yours most sincerely, 

F. Edward Bache. 

On July 12 he invited his Birmingham friends 
to an organ performance by his brother Walter, 
wishing him to be heard before starting for 
Leipzig, which he did in the following month. 

Yet one more wish remained to be accomplished ; 

one farewell concert, at which his own music 

might be " heard by all his friends at home, once 

for all." What would have been his own place as 

'^ Mr. Algernon Black, also of Broadwood's ; an early and 
constant friend of Edward and Walter Bache. 



1858] BIRMINGHAM loi 

pianist was taken, at his express wish, by his friend 
the late Mr. George Russell, and the concert was 
given on August 5. The writer of these lines can 
dimly remember the shrunk and fragile form of 
the young composer being carried in to be present 
at this concert, the realization of his great 
hopes. 

To some it must have recalled the last scenes of 
poor Chopin's tragic life, so touchingly described 
in Liszt's memoir of him. On August 24 the now 
longed-for end came. 

Dictating his wishes to his father or sister, a few 
days before his death, he said : — 

" Tell Mr. Hipkins I was last at work on a piece 
for him, till the pen dropped from my fingers." 

" To Mr. Kistner, my best love and God's blessing. 
May he soon be released too, if he wishes it." 

Five years later, on October i, 1863, a perform- 
ance of Mendelssohn's " St. Paul " was given in 
the " Church of the Messiah," Birmingham. The 
interest of the performance centred in its object, 
which was to raise funds for a memorial window to 
Edward Bache, to be erected in this, his father's 
church. Edward's old master and friend, Mr. 
Stimpson, was the conductor ; Walter Bache, just 
returned from his musical studies abroad, was the 
organist ; and the chorus and soloists were culled 



I02 F. EDWARD BACHE 

chiefly from the ranks of his old friends, with 
whom, and with Mr. Stimpson, the idea had 
originated. 

A local paper, reporting on this performance, 
said : — 

When on the eve of the Birmingham triennial 
festival of 1858 we announced the heavy loss 
musical art had sustained by the death of our 
young townsman Edward Bache, we certainly did 
not anticipate that five years would elapse before 
any public steps were taken to perpetuate the 
musician's memory and acknowledge his genius. 

Perhaps the friends and admirers of the deceased 
omitted to move in the matter out of motives of 
delicacy and consideration for the feelings of the 
bereaved family — perhaps they trusted to the 
innate genius of the composer to vindicate itself ; 
but, whatever the cause, it is certain that until 
Thursday last no combined effort worthy of the 
object was made to fill that niche in the musical 
Walhalla which young Bache had earned, with a 
memorial proportionate to its merits. 

And another account contains the following : — 

To perpetuate by some material monument 
the memory of this gifted composer — this Kirke 
White of musical literature, whose genius, if it 
cannot rank with the Mendelssohns and Meyer- 
beers, and other leading luminaries of the musical 
firmament, must be allowed to " shine like 
Hesperus among the lesser lights" — was the praise- 



BIRMINGHAM 103 

worthy object for which some eighty ladies and 
gentlemen of musical attainments banded together 
under professional direction last night, and applied 
themselves to the arduous and difficult task of 
interpreting Mendelssohn's first great effort at 
oratorio writing. 

The result was a stained-glass window, represent- 
ing David chasing away the evil spirit by playing 
before Saul. Above is a St. Cecilia, also a 
medallion of Bache in profile. Beneath are the 
words : 

"In memory of Francis Edward Bache, born 14th of 
September, 1833,31 Birmingham, died 24th of August, 1858. 
A friendly tribute to his genius as a musician, and his worth 
as a man." 

The window was designed by Mr. (now Dr.) 
Sebastian Evans, then of Birmingham, now of 
London, and executed by Messrs. Chance. A 
photograph of it is given on the opposite page. 



Passing over the more immature and youthful 
productions, to say nothing of the ' ' pot-boilers " he 
had to write in order to keep himself in bread-and- 
butter and shoe-leather, Edward Bache has never- 
theless left behind him many gems in a simple 
form which, coming straight from his own heart, 
find their way direct to the heart of the hearer. 



I04 F. EDWARD BACHE 

Amongst these may be mentioned the " Five 
Characteristic Pieces" (Op. 1 5), to which allusion has 
been made on page 5 1 ; also the four " Mazurkas 
de Salon" (Op. 13) ; both of which have been 
recently re-issued by the firm of Augener. 

" Souvenirs d'ltalie " (Op. 19) contain some char- 
acteristic reminiscences of the sunny land of the 
South, while the "Souvenirs de Torquay" (Op. 26) 
are good teaching pieces. His best published 
work is undoubtedly his D minor Trio (Op. 25), 
near which would rank the Concerto of which 
Czerny spoke so well, and some other unpublished 
concerted works. 

Of his songs, there is one which has made its 
way into many a repertoire, and which supplies the 
motto on the title-page of this volume. It is 
"The Farewell," from "Six Songs" (Op. 16) 
dedicated to Mme. Livia Frege, the well-known 
singer in Leipzig, and wife of Hans von Biilow's 
cousin. After his death were also published, 
amongst other pieces, the " Barcaruola Veneziana," 
a bright setting of words by Metastasio ; also 
" Parted," written to Burns's^ plaintive words 
" The winter it is past "; and a setting of Moore's 
ballad, " She is far from the land," regarding 
which it is curious that it is almost the same as 
the poet's own setting of his words, which Bache 

1 Ascribed to Burns, though its authenticity is doubtful. 



BIRMINGHAM 165 

had neither seen nor heard when he wrote his 
version. 

Some thirty years after the events above de- 
scribed, it seems that one of the juvenile prodigies 
of the day made his appearance at the Birmingham 
Town Hall. His performance on that occasion 
evoked the following interesting comments on 
other child-geniuses : — 

One of the Rev. Mr. Lunn's friends (says a 
correspondent) writes in reference to the paragraph 
in Tuesday's T>aily Gazette — " Will you allow me 
to endorse all your correspondent says about the 
wonderful precocious musical talent of the Rev. J. 
R. Lunn, as I had many opportunities of witness- 
ing what he could do, in his father's house at the 
Sandpits [Birmingham]. And I want to say 
something about another musical infant genius 
belonging to Birmingham. I refer to the too soon 
taken away Francis Edward Bache, who, before he 
was three years old, used to stand at the pianoforte 
and pick out concords. He played in the Festival 
band in 1846, being then only thirteen years of 
age, and afterwards developed into one of the best 
composers this country can boast of. His talent, 
like the Rev. J. R. Lunn's, was God-given ; but 
neither his parents nor the parents of the now 
Yorkshire clergyman ever gave way to the 
temptation of making themselves rich by making 
slaves of their children," 



io6 F. EDWARD BACHE 

The following section is devoted to the 
publication of Edward Bache's letters on the 
establishment of a permanent orchestra in his 
native town, an object which he had much at 
heart, and warmly advocated. They were printed 
for private circulation, a few years ago, at the 
request of the executive of the then newly-forming 
Scottish Orchestral Society, with a short prefatory 
explanation written by one of their number. His 
long-cherished idea of " English Opera for English 
People " seems likely, thanks to the enterprise of 
some of our leading musicians and the London 
County Council, to be realized ere long. Should 
it be started upon a broad enough basis, it will be 
a glorious inauguration of the twentieth century 
that places England at last on a level with other 
countries in this important respect. 



Extracts from Letters written by the 
LATE F. Edward Bache. 

npHE following letters were written in 1856 by 
a young musician, Francis Edward. Bache, 
whose career of exceptional promise was closed by 
death in 1858 at the early age of twenty-five. The 
single-minded enthusiasm which, later, made his 
younger brother, Walter Bache, the self-sacrificing 
apostle of Liszt, led Edward Bache to advocate 
the establishment of a permanent orchestra in 
Birmingham. The letters written with this view 
were deemed unsuitable for the Journal to which 
they were offered ; and now, after more than a 
generation, the purpose for which they were 
written remains unfulfilled. The musicianly, 
practical, and temperate tone of the letters — now 
published as they were written, save for the 
omission of passages having purely local reference 
— gives them a permanent value which seems to 
justify their publication at a time when there is a 
prospect of realizing in the immediate future a 



io8 F. EDWARD BACHE 

scheme for Scotland similar to that suggested by 
the young musician for Birmingham. 

Both Edward and Walter Bache hold a higher 
place in the estimation of foreign musicians than 
has been accorded them in their own country. 
Had Edward lived, there is no doubt that he 
would have proved himself a musician of very 
high rank ; and, had he realized the sketch now 
published. Orchestral Music would have occupied 
a superior position in England to that which it now 
holds. 

Sir, 

I beg to submit to your approval the 
following remarks on Music, considered in the 
light of a recreative amusement for the inhabitants 
of our hard-working town. I do not wish to 
enter at all theoretically on the subject, but simply 
to endeavour to show how good, cheap, and 
constant musical performances may be rendered 
accessible, and how, instead of being a rare and 
expensive enjoyment, they may be made as it 
were a part of the actual every-day life of the 
town. 

In this my first letter I propose to endeavour to 
point out the utility of good, cheap, and constant 
musical performances as a means of recreation. 
In confining my remarks to music, of course I do 
not wish in the slightest degree to undervalue the 
other fine arts, as applied to the same purpose of 



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS 109 

popular amusement. On the contrary, I consider 
their cultivation to be fully as important as that 
of music ; but, as being a musician myself, I wish 
to limit my remarks to that subject on which 
alone they might be worth listening to. 

Together with the present demand for educa- 
tional progress in Birmingham and the neighbour- 
hood it will hardly be denied that there exists 
another need, almost equally extensive, of better 
and more refining means of amusement than are 
at present accessible. 

It is scarcely to be expected that after twelve or 
fourteen hours' hard daily labour a man will 
always be capable of availing himself of the 
educational advantages offered by our numerous 
institutions. He will quite as often stand in need 
of that which will be to him rather a passive 
enjoyment than an active exertion of intellect. 
If this be granted, it follows that, besides provid- 
ing means of education, measures, as it were 
supplementary, should at the same time be taken 
to raise the character of the popular amusements. 
As with the young child whose character and 
tastes are almost entirely formed by early 
surrounding influences, so is it with the grown-up 
man, who, if accustomed to the constant enjoy- 
ment of refined and artistic recreations, will 
naturally from being a mere passive recipient of 
gratification soon begin to desire actively, that is, 
by his own intellectual labour, to extend the 
sphere of his knowledge and attainments. Thus 
good amusements, instead of counteracting or 



no F. EDWARD BACHE 

even in any way impeding the beneficial influence 
of educational institutions, will, on the contrary, 
lead people to avail themselves more and more of 
such advantages. This being the case when the 
sources of recreation are of a high order, the 
opposite effect is produced by people becoming 
accustomed to low and inartistic pleasures. It is, 
in fact, one of the greatest difficulties against 
which the zealous promoters of popular improve- 
ment have to contend, that the amusements of 
the people are generally of so low an order. 

I will now conclude this letter with a slight 
sketch of the way these things are managed on 
the Continent, taking for my illustration the town 
of Leipzig, in Saxony. This town contains 
between sixty and seventy thousand inhabitants. 
The average rate of wages is not half what it is 
in Birmingham, and living is also much cheaper. 
The orchestral forces of the town consist of the 
large and complete Concert Orchestra, which has 
obtained a world-wide renown, and of which 
Mendelssohn was the conductor for several 
years ; besides three other complete, but smaller 
orchestras, giving one or two concerts every day 
in the year at cheap admission. There are, 
besides, a vast number of bands as large as that at 
our theatre, which play chiefly dance music, as 
not being competent to the performance of larger 
works. These orchestras are all supported by the 
public, the principle being that of continual 
performances at cheap prices, whereby people 
become in the habit of going to a concert for an 



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS iii 

hour's lounge, just as in England they go to the 
gin palaces. 

In the summer these concerts are held in the 
gardens in the environs of the town ; in the winter, 
of course, they are under cover. The admissions 
vary from three-half-pence to sixpence. If so much 
can be done then for music in a town of one-fifth 
the size of Birmingham, surely we might at all 
events do a part of what they do. Success would 
entirely depend upon the fact of such an affair 
being sufficiently well organized to become a habit 
and a daily need, as it were, to our population. 

I shall now endeavour to show the exact kind 
of concerts most needed in Birmingham. To 
come to the point at once, I refer to Orchestral 
Concerts. The programmes should not necessarily 
be devoted only to the highest class of music, but 
should include overtures, selections from operas, 
and dance music ; in fact, they should consist of 
such music as is easily appreciable and enjoyable 
by the general public. Before proceeding further 
I wish to combat the objections which will 
probably be raised by many to the fact that I 
appear to exclude the opera and vocal music in 
general. In the first place, then, as regards the 
opera, no one can wish more fervently than I do 
to have a good and constant opera in our town ; 
but this is an excessively difficult problem, which 
has not yet been successfully solved, even in 
London. The opera is the most expensive of all 
musical entertainments, the expense being so great 



Missing Page 



Missing Page 



114 F- EDWARD BACHE 

different qualities of the different instruments are 
then to the composer what colours are to the 
painter: the outline in painting corresponding 
with the melody in music. An orchestral score 
(that is, the arrangement of music for the several 
instruments) is as complicated and well-adjusted a 
piece of mechanical contrivance as any of those 
modern inventions by which a pin or a percussion 
cap can be completed in a few seconds. Each 
instrument has its own peculiar function to fulfil 
at its appointed time ; and scoring for an orchestra 
consists thus in the proper adjustment of the 
several parts. One great and peculiar benefit 
then, which seems to me to result from the 
frequent hearing of good orchestral music, is that 
the -principles of combination thus illustrated in 
sound will, by degrees, induce the perception of 
similar combinations in other departments of thought 
and of Nature. 

It would be a curious subject for a politician, 
who at the same time happened to be well 
informed on the subject of music, to trace the 
connection between the want of organization in 
our military and other public undertakings, and 
the absence from among us of orchestral music. 
Surely the same causes operate in the one case as 
in the other. 

I now propose to point out the manner in 
which I conceive the expense incurred by an 
orchestra might be met. 

In the first place, arrangements might be made 



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS 115 

for giving in Birmingham at least three evening 
concerts every week in different localities. For 
one of these three concerts I should propose an 
amalgamation with some local chorus. These 
concerts would thus be rendered infinitely more 
attractive and varied, and would be enabled to 
present entire oratorios and other large choral 
works. Supposing the admission had to be raised 
to sixpence on account of the additional expense 
of the orchestra, I nevertheless believe that there 
is a much larger public for good sixpenny than 
for bad threepenny performances amongst us. 
The working class do not care, any more than 
those above them, for what is cheap and inferior. 
The thing to be done is to convert the cheap and 
inferior into the moderately ex-pensive and good. 
Thus I would propose to raise the character of 
these concerts, and make them really worthy of 
the support of our upper classes. Annual sub- 
scription tickets might also be issued at a reduced 
price, which would probably induce the constant 
attendance of many of those young men in 
particular who have really no other means of 
amusement at present but the saloons and casinos. 

For the other two weekly evening concerts I 
would propose a somewhat lighter class of music, 
and threepenny admissions. 

In the second place, evening concerts might be 
given either weekly, fortnightly, or even monthly, 
in some of the neighbouring large towns, such as 
Wolverhampton, Dudley, Stourbridge. The ad- 
missions to these concerts might be either sixpence 
8—2 



ii6 F. EDWARD BACHE 

or threepence, and subscription tickets might also 
be issued. 

In the third place, arrangements might be made 
for occasional afternoon promenade concerts during 
the summer, in such places as our Botanical 
Gardens, though this would probably be a very 
small source of income. 

In the fourth place, the Town Hall might be 
thrown open on one morning in every week for 
a promenade concert at sixpence or a shilling 
admission, such performances being especially 
designed for the ladies, who could there meet 
their friends. This would be also an excellent 
opportunity for children, who are too young for 
the late hours of evening concerts, to hear good 
music. This again would probably be but a 
small source of income, but still would contribute 
its mite towards the annual expense of the 
orchestra. 

In the fifth place, the givers of concerts in the 
neighbouring towns would be very glad of the 
opportunity of having a good orchestra at a 
moderate price. At present it is out of the 
question, on account of the immense expense and 
difficulty of organization ; whereas, supposing 
they knew that they could have a good and 
complete orchestra brought to their very doors at 
a certain fixed and moderate charge, they would 
probably never give a concert without one. 

In the sixth place — and this might become the 
main source of income, and by itself be almost 
sufficient to keep up an orchestra in Birmingham 



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS 117 

— a series of ten or twelve grand evening concerts 
of the highest class of music might be given 
annually in the Town Hall. The success of these 
would depend more upon the subscription list 
than upon single admissions, and subscription 
tickets might be issued for the series at different 
prices for different parts of the hall. For these 
concerts engagements might be entered into with 
the greatest solo artists of the day, both vocal and 
instrumental. That such concerts can succeed is 
fully shown by the Gentlemen's Concerts in 
Manchester, access to which is now practically 
impossible, owing to there being more would-be- 
subscribers than the room can accommodate. If 
this scheme, or something similar to it, were 
fortunate enough to meet with the liberal support 
of the neighbouring nobility and gentry, it would 
alone be almost sufficient for the formation and 
support of a good orchestra in Birmingham. 

Many people will nevertheless be probably still 
of opinion that this all looks very feasible on 
paper, but that it cannot possibly be carried out in 
reality. To these I can only reply that it is carried 
out, and to a very much greater extent even than 
what I have proposed, in towns of one-fifth of the 
size of Birmingham. As I have already mentioned, 
Leipzig, in Saxony, with a population of 60,000 
to 70,000, has at least twice the number of musical 
performances I have ventured to propose for our 
town of 300,000 inhabitants. I believe that, after 
all, more money is spent on music in England than 
in any other country, though with less result ; 



ii8 F. EDWARD BACHE 

and that, in order to obtain a more satisfactory 
and artistic result, we need a better organization 
and application of means, rather than an increased 
expenditure. 

In conclusion, I will endeavour to point out the 
causes of the w^ant of orchestral music amongst us, 
and to show how these causes might perhaps in 
some degree be capable of being removed. The 
success of orchestral music depends upon proper 
organization ; and a collection of individual 
performers, however good, on different instru- 
ments, does not of necessity form an orchestra, 
any more than a regiment can be composed of a 
heterogeneous assemblage of undrilled recruits. 
It will probably here be urged that the want of 
organization is the fault of the English musical 
professors themselves — that they have themselves 
only to blame for the deficiency. This may be 
partly, though it certainly is not altogether, true ; 
and I conceive the true reason depends more upon 
the political and municipal constitution of the 
English nation than upon any lack of talent or 
enterprise among its musical professors. On the 
Continent the highest individual talent is generally 
to be found in the service of the Government. 
There is comparatively small scope for individuals 
who wish to succeed in great commercial or 
mechanical undertakings. The consequence is 
that people's attention is there more turned to 
education and the arts in general ; and to foster 
and encourage these is, in fact, part of the system 



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS 119 

of Government. In England, on the contrary, so 
great is the facility offered to individual enterprise 
and speculation, that we rarely find the highest 
talent in any department in the immediate service 
and pay of Government. Still less do we find 
any inducement for young men, commencing the 
world with a small capital, to devote their talents 
to the career of an artist, whether musician or 
painter. Such young men will naturally prefer to 
sow their capital and apply their energies in a 
field where there is a much greater chance of their 
reaping an abundant harvest. The consequence 
is that, among artists in general and musicians in 
particular, there are very few (I might even say 
none, in reference to English musicians) who have 
any independent fortune or means whatever at the 
commencement of their career. The difference 
between the profession of music and the other 
learned professions of law, physic, and the Church, 
is that the latter are necessary, whereas the former 
is not. Let a man once attain a good position as 
a lawyer or medical man, and he is pretty sure of 
a respectable income as long as he is able to 
continue his profession. Widely different is the 
career of the professor of music, who, after in 
many cases going through as long and expensive 
an education as the medical man or lawyer, is 
liable at any moment to be entirely thrown out by 
the caprice of fashion, or by various causes which 
do not affect the others. These changes of 
fashion are for the professor of music exactly what 
changes of government, of the constitution of the 



I20 F. EDWARD BACHE 

country, and of examination tests, would be for 
the other professions. The result of this state of 
things is that the average rate of income among 
English musicians is barely enough for their 
immediate wants, instances thus being excessively 
rare of a competence, much more a fortune, being 
attained. Of course, in saying this I must be 
specially understood not to allude to the 
scandalously exorbitant terms paid in England, 
and in England only, to a few foreign singere. 
In this particular, we have the satisfaction of 
having been and of still being the laughing-stock 
of all Continental nations. Even so far back as 
the time of Mozart's boyhood, about eighty or 
ninety years ago, it was a well understood thing 
among foreign artists, that the English public 
were to be first gulled by the pretence of giving 
charitable concerts, and then plundered to the 
utmost extent by the generous givers of these 
same charitable concerts, which have always been 
found to be the most certain, and in fact almost 
the only, musical entrance to John Bull's treasure- 
chambers. Thus we find Mozart's father, in a 
letter still extant, scheming for his son to give, as 
a commencement, a charitable concert in London, 
on the occasion of his visit to England when still 
quite a child. The recent affair of Mademoiselle 
Johanna Wagner has also taught us that " English 
are only to be valued for their money." But to 
return to my subject. Instances are, as I have 
shown above, very rare of musicians having any 
capital whatever, whether inherited or accumulated. 



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS 121 

Now in order for a number of individuals to enter 
into any speculation whatsoever, the first and 
most necessary condition of success is the posses- 
sion of sufficient funds to enable them to live till 
this speculation can be supposed to begin to 
answer. 

Well, to apply this to music. The Orchestral 
Union was composed of the first instrumentalists 
of the day — of the men, in fact, in receipt of the 
largest incomes — of the men who, if any in the 
whole musical profession, might be supposed to be 
the very ones in tolerably easy circumstances. 
Their first tour through the provinces was fairly 
successful in establishing their reputation, though, 
as being a new thing, it naturally did not pay 
well. Well, just when their reputation was 
made, and they had only to make another tour to 
reap the pecuniary benefits, they were obliged to 
give it up for want of finances. Now if any 
capitalist who knew anything about musical 
matters had stepped forward at this juncture and 
bought them up (so to speak), he would have 
reaped the advantage of their past year's loss of 
money and gain of reputation, and would most 
probably have found himself embarked in a most 
profitable speculation. 

Thus then I have endeavoured to show that 
some certainty, in the shape either of individual 
capital or of a fixed engagement, is absolutely 
necessary for the formation and maintenance of an 
orchestral body. Without this certainty, however 
small it may be, an orchestra must of necessity, 



Missing Page 



Missing Page 



124 F. EDWARD BACHE 

originally exist, a taste and love for the art may be 
inspired. How different is the case now ! The 
exertions of the most conscientious professor are 
to a great extent of no avail ; he can but teach his 
pupils to play or sing certain notes, and has no 
possible means of inspiring them with a real feeling 
for what they sing or play. It is much the same 
case as if a drawing master were expected to teach 
his art to pupils who were never permitted to see 
a finished work of any kind ; of necessity the 
lessons can be but a mechanical drudgery, and, 
except in some few cases, a great sacrifice of time 
which might be better employed. When one does 
meet with real musical talent, capable of giving 
pleasure instead of pain to the listeners, it will 
always be found upon inquiry that such talent has 
been to the full as much assisted in its development 
by frequently hearing good performances as by 
merely receiving professors' lessons. Let me be 
clearly understood not in any way to under- 
estimate the value of good lessons ; they are 
necessary, but their value will be infinitely en- 
hanced when once a real taste and feeling for 
music has been inspired by hearing really good 
performances. The task of the professor then 
becomes one of guidance and assistance : at present 
all he can do is to teach his pupils to repeat certain 
notes in a parrot-like manner, which is about as 
artistic a proceeding as if a foreigner not under- 
standing a word of English were deliberately to 
learn off by heart one of Shakespeare's plays. 
Thus the establishment of good orchestral concerts 



EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS 125 

would be of the highest possible advantage in the 
musical education of those whose playing is now 
oftener an annoyance than a pleasure to many of 
their hearers. 

Let me, in the last place, just touch upon the 
advantages that would be offered to our English 
composers by the establishment of an orchestra 
amongst us. There are scarcely any concerts 
where they can have a new work not only played, 
but, what is of quite as much importance, /^/r^ 
judged. The consequence is that a composer can- 
not make a reputation in England. There are 
only two classes who can succeed amongst us : 
these are, first, composers who have already made 
a European renown, and are at last crowned, as it 
were, by a grand performance of their works at 
our Opera or Festivals ; and, second, charlatans 
who simply amuse the public for a time, but have 
no influence on art, properly considered. We 
have at this present time more talent among 
English Composers than is dreamt of by the 
public, but which is obliged to lie dormant for 
want of encouragement. 

F. Edward Bache. 



126 



F. EDWARD BACHE 



A LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL PUBLISHED WORKS 
OF FRANCIS EDWARD BACHE. 



Op. I. 

Op. 2. 
Op. 3. 

Op. 4. 
Op. 5. 
Op. 6. 
Op. 7, 



Op. 8. 
Op. 9. 



Op. 10. 
Op. II. 

Op. 12. 

Op. 13. 
Op. 14. 



Op. 15. 



Publisher. 
Moments de Recreation ; Three Im- 
promptus ... ... ... Ashdown, 

Reve d' Amour. To R. S. Pratten ... „ 

La Belle Capricieuse. To Sterndale 

Bennett ... ... ... Augener. 

Reverie du Soir. To Sterndale Bennett Ashdown. 
L'Irresistible. Galop di Bravura ... „ 

L'Esprit de la Danse ; Valse Brillante „ 

No. I. Fantasia on Bonnie Dundee ... „ 

„ 2. „ Those Evening Bells „ 

„ 3. „ Non pii mesta ... Augener. 

„ 4. „ A Russian Air . . , Ashdown. 

Eugenie; Mazurka de Salon ... Augener. 

Brilliant Polonaise. To the Marchioness 
of Downshire (with unpublished 
orchestral accompaniments) ... Ashdown. 

Allegretto Grazioso. To Charles E. 

Flavell ... ... Hopwood and Crew. 

Le Carnaval de Venise. Duet ... Ashdown. 

Two Romances. To Francesco Berger „ 

Four Mazurkas de Salon. To E. A. /Ashdown. 
Kelly ... ... ... \ Augener. 

Two Characteristic Reveries ... Ashdown, 

No. I. The Last Rose of Summer. 
„ 2. The Harp that once thro' Tara's 
Halls. 
Five Characteristic Pieces. To George f Ashdown. 
Ingram ... ... ... \ Augener. 

No. I. Drinking Song. 
„ 2. Beloved. 
„ 3. Forsaken. 
„ 4. Barcarole. 
„ 5. Village Merrymaking. 



PUBLISHED MUSIC 



127 



Op. 16. Six Songs. To Mme. Livia Fregc 
No. I. Springtide Faith. 

„ 2. Her Spirit. 

„ 3. Chloe. 

„ 4. Farewell. (" Fare thee well, dear 
heart.") 

„ 5. Ah, did they but know. 

„ 6. Serenade. 
Two Polkas de Salon 
No. I. To Horace Chase 

„ 2. To Mile. Elizabeth Kistner 
Souvenirs d'ltalie 



Publisher. 
Ashdown. 



Op. 17. 
Op. 19. 



Ashdown. 



Ashdown. 



Op. 20. 

Op. 21. 

Op. 23. 
Op. 24. 

Op. 26. 



I. 

2. 

3- 
4- 

5- 
6. 



No. I. Toujours Gai. To Mrs. Coates 
Madeleine. To Miss Bell 
Bon Matin. 
Sur les Lagunes. To Mile. 

Hoskier 
L'Allegresse. To Signora Ricci 
Reve d'une Villageoise. To 
Signora Buti 
„ 7. Dors, mon Enfant. To George 

Ingram 
„ 8. Fete Napolitaine. To Lady 
Henrietta Morant 
Les Clochettes du Traineau. To M. 

Guillaume Kuhe ... ... Ashdown. 

Romance for P.F. and Violoncello (or/Augener. 

Violin). To Pietro Costaggini ...\A. Hatzfeld, 
Feu Follet. To Miss Arabella Goddard Ashdown. 
La Penserosa e 1' Allegra. To Miss 

Jackson ... ... ... Ashdown. 

Souvenirs de Torquay ... ... „ 

No. I. L'Invitation. To Mile. Eliza- 
beth Kistner 
Pri^re de jeune Fille. 
Melodic Etude. To Sir Vere 

de Vere 
Les quatre Voleurs. 
La Le'gSrete. To Alfred G. 
Barham 



128 



F. EDWARD BACHE 



Fairy Lilian. To Mme. Husson 

En Avant ; Fanfare militaire 

Sur le Boulevard ; Marche Parisienne. Duet. 

Also Solo 
The Farewell. Song. To Mrs. Henry Ames 

(" Go where you will ") 
Childhood's Joy. Song. To G. B. Arnold ... 
Overture to William Tell. Duet 
Potpourri on Lucia di Lammermoor. Duet. 
Oesten's Fantasia on Lucrezia Borgia. Duet ... 
Five favourite Airs from II Trovatore, with Flute 

accompaniment ad lib. 
Four Songs. To Mrs. Henry Ames 
The Absent. 
Friendship in Sorrow. 
Parting 

The Invitation 
Wandrer'sNachtlied. Song. To Miss Dolby ... 



Publisher. 
Ashdown. 



fAshdown. 
\Augener. 
Ashdown. 



Ashdown. 



No. I. 
.. 2. 

» 3- 
4- 



Ashdown. 
Augener. 



of Stimpson's 
Organist's 
Standard 
Library. 



POSTHUMOUS PUBLICATIONS. 

Romance for " You Two." Flute and P.F. To 

James Mathews and George Ingram 

Birmingham ; Harrison. 
Litany. Song. To the Rev. Samuel Bache ... Evans. 
Introduction and Allegro, in No. 21^ 
A short Voluntary (A minor), in 

No. 22 
A short Voluntary (E Major), in 

No. 24 
Op. 25. Trio pour P.F., Violon et Violoncelle. 

To Mme. Arabella Davison Goddard 

Leipzig ; Fr. Kistner. 
Barcaruola Veneziana, Song. Words by Metas- 

tasio ... ... ... ... Ashdown. 

Consolation ; Melodie 6tude ... ... „ 

Parted. Song. (" The winter it is past ") ... „ 

Second Romance for P.F. and Violin (or Flute or 

Violoncello). To H. Weist Hill ... Hatzfeld. 

Ballad in the Irish style. ("She is far from the 

land." — Moore.) To Mrs. A. A. Fletcher 

Leonard and Co. 




WALTER BACHE AS A CHILD 
From a Poicil DraiviH'^ by hU Ami!, Miss Hts:gt'ison 



PART II 

WALTER BACHE 

1858 

" Perseverance, dear my lord. 
Keeps honour bright : to have done, is to hang 
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail 
In monumental mockery." 

Troilus and Cressida, 

npHERE is a picture, an engraving, entitled 
" The Two Leonoras." I think it is little 
known, and rarely met with. It represents the 
two heroines of Goethe's "Tasso" — Leonora 
d'Este and Leonora Sanvitale — conversing to- 
gether. A greater contrast than that between the 
two figures could not be imagined. The one 
Leonora is dark, serious, with deeply thoughtful 
eyes ; the other fair as the morn, all brimming 
over with brightness. 

" Wohl ist sie schon, die Welt ! an ihrer Weite 
Bewegt sich so viel Gutes hin und her," 



I30 WALTER BACHE [1858 

she says ; and the whole light form seems to cry, 
" Hold me not back, but let me go forth !" 

Such, to my mind, is a picture of the two 
brothers I am endeavouring here to describe. 
The depth of a beautiful, bright, yet withal sad- 
dened, nature looked out from Edward's eyes ; the 
sparkle of happiness and the mere joy of living 
shone in Walter's face, at the time when I propose 
to start with him on his journey through these 
pages. His childhood had not been distinguished 
by any of those special gifts which had marked 
Edward Bache even from his babyhood. An 
immense love of fun, an aptness for getting his 
own way, and an insatiable love of good-natured 
teasing (the little ones especially), with a manner 
so irresistibly joyous and mischievous that it was 
difficult for his elders to scold him without a 
smile ; not particularly industrious, not particularly 
earnest ; such — at the end of his schooldays — was 
the lad who became afterwards one of the most 
serious and pertinacious musicians of his day. 

His boyhood's years, then, may be dismissed in 
a "few words, up to the time when, having definitely 
decided to embrace the same vocation as Edward, 
he was leaving school and about to enter upon it. 

He was born on June 19, 1842 ; and, after the 
preliminary musical teaching obtained during his 
school years, he started to begin his real career 



i85s] LEIPZIG 131 

early in August, 1858. His father had himself 
intended to take him to Leipzig, but the pre- 
carious condition of his son Edward rendered it 
impossible for him to leave home ; and the light- 
hearted, careless, happy-going lad was entrusted to 
the care of friends who were just then going to 
Germany. 

After a preliminary taste of opera in London 
with his friend Mr. Deichmann (" Don Giovanni " 
at Covent Garden, and the " Barber of Seville " with 
Alboni and Belletti at Her Majesty's), he started 
for Leipzig, where he was to be housed at Frau- 
lein Lehmann's, his brother's old quarters. 

The great afFection in which Edward Bache was 
held had naturally smoothed the path for Walter ; 
and the old friend Mr. Kistner was as good to the 
younger brother as he had been to the elder. 

Leipzig had not, to all appearance, radically 
changed by this time, but its halcyon days were 
over ; and, with the rise and progress of so many 
other great musical centres in Germany, those 
halcyon days will probably never return. Much 
goes with the man of the day ; and just as, in the 
forties, Mendelssohn was this par excellence, so, 
later on, it was to Biilow, to Mme. Schumann, 
and above all to Liszt, that the musical aspirant 
betook himself Some of the older Leipzig peda- 
gogues were becoming, possibly, just a little bit 
9—2 



Missing Page 



Missing Page 



II 

LEIPZIG (continued) 

1859 

T^HE New Year opened happily, and on Jan- 
uary 3 he writes home : — 

My very dear Papa, 

. . . Now to business (as Richard III. 
remarked when he killed the babies). . . . Last 
Saturday, January i , Joachim played the Concerto of 
Beethoven's in the Gewandhaus. Then we had 
two beautiful things for Chorus and Orchestra by 
Mr. Hauptmann ; and the second part of the 
concert consisted of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, 
which was splendidly played. Last night, as a 
contrast to the Symphony, I went to hear the 
"Huguenots," which, with a few exceptions, I did 
not like at all. 

Today we have begun work again in the 
Conservatory. Mr. Moscheles is in a tremendous 
good humour with me, because I always bring his 
edition of the Beethoven Sonatas, and come so 
regularly. I think he will give me a good testi- 




WALTETv I'ACHE AS A V^:.L"TH 



1859] LEIPZIG 135 

monial when I leave. Mr. Kistner continues 
about the same as usual ; he is very kind to me, 
as he always was to Edward, and I go now very 
often to spend the evening with him. 

An interesting evening was noted in a letter of 
February 7 : — 

On Tuesday evening Sullivan and I went to 
Mme. Schunck's, the sister-in-law of Mendelssohn. 
Schleinitz, the director of the Conservatory, was 
there with two of his nieces. Also the eldest 
daughter of Mendelssohn and his son were there. 
They were all very nice people indeed, and we 
enjoyed the evening very much ; I think we shall 
be perhaps invited again before Miss Mendelssohn 
goes home. 

And a month later : — 

March 14, 1859. 

I have had two dissipations this week, and so I 
can write you rather a longer letter than usual. 
On Tuesday was a large party at Mme. Seeburg's, 
to which, as I told you, I was invited. I happened 
to hear beforehand that it would be a very grand 
affair, so that I was not in any predicament about 
dress. I have been obliged here to set up white 
ties, which look hideously ugly, but everybody 
wears them, and so I am obliged to do so. 
Moscheles and David were there, and Stockhausen, 
this singer who has been making such tremendous 
success here. Also Schleinitz the director of the 
Conservatory, and Mrs. Hauptmann and Miss 



136 WALTER BACHE [1859 

Mendelssohn, besides a great many people whom 
you do not know. It was a very pleasant evening, 
but rather stifF. . . . 

Then Thursday was the 19th Gewandhaus 
concert . . . then one of the Professors of the 
Brussels Conservatory, named Dupont, played a 
Concerto of his own ; however I did not much 
like it. Stockhausen sang for the third time this 
season, and had most tremendous success. He is 
going to sing next Friday in the Abend- 
Vnterhaltung at the Conservatory. It is really 
a great advantage for us that, when a great 
musician comes to Leipzig, he generally plays or 
sings to the Conservatory pupils. Thus, this 
winter, we have had Mme. Garcia, Schroeder- 
Devrient, and this Mr. Dupont. 

To HIS Father. 

Sunday, May 8, 1859. 

I have been this morning to a kind of garden 
party at Mme. Schunck's. There were a great 
many people there, including Moscheles, David, 
Schleinitz, and a good many others ; it lasted 
from 11.30 till about i. Then they all went 
away, but Sullivan and I were asked to stop 
dinner. The two Miss Mendelssohns are now 
stopping at Mme. Schunck's ; the one is about 
nineteen, the other thirteen ; they are just the 
kind of girls one would like to fancy as Mendels- 
sohn's daughters, and it is wonderful how the 
elder, who is very beautiful, and very much 



1859] LEIPZIG 137 

sought after in company, on her own account and 
her father's, should keep so unaffected and kind 
to her little cousins and everybody else. . . . 

We shall most likely have a second public 
examination this week in the Gewandhaus, 
because there were more pupils ready than could 
play in one concert. I expect that a Quartett of 
Sullivan's, which they rehearsed last night, will be 
played. It is a very well worked out and well 
put together thing, and will please the Germans 
very much. I think it shows a good deal of 
promise, considering that Sullivan is not yet 
seventeen. He has had great advantages all his 
life in London, having been in the Royal Academy 
and having had lessons of Mr. Bennett. 

Bache's^ first sight of Liszt took place at this 
time, and little did the young student then think 
what that name would one day mean to him. 

To HIS Father. 

May 30. 

On Saturday was the second public examination 
of the Conservatorists, of which I send you the 
programme. Everything went very well indeed. 
Liszt and JaelP were both present, and applauded 
tremendously. . . . 

I am so glad Mr. Flavell is coming in July to 

1 The reader is reminded that " Bache " in Part II. is 
Walter. 

2 Alfred Jaell, 1832-1882; a pianist of distinction, who 
began his career as a youthful prodigy. 



Missing Page 



Missing Page 



Ill 

LEIPZIG {continued) 

i860 

Vy'ALTER BACHE'S letters home contained 
frequent mention of a family who have 
distinguished themselves — the Barnetts. He was 
especially struck with the playing of the two 
Miss Barnetts, who had been studying at Leipzig 
for some time. In a letter home he wrote : — 

The two girls really play very well, and have 
great talent ; in fact they discourage me more than 
anyone else in Leipzig. 

And again : — 

Sullivan and I went and had tea at the Barnetts' ! 
I have been there a good deal lately : they are such 
kind people, and you can do what you like there. 

And in March this year he sent word that 

John Barnett played on Thursday in the Gewand- 
haus the Second Concerto of Mendelssohn, and 



i86o] LEIPZIG 



141 



had great success, being called forward at the 
end. 

An old programme of a students' concert on 
April 23, i860, includes the following items: — 

Concert fur das Pianoforte von L. van Beethoven 
(Es dur, erster Satz), gespielt von Fraulein 
Rosamunde Barnett aus Cheltenham. 

Chaconne fiir Violine von Seb. Bach, gespielt von 
Herrn Carl Rose^ aus Hamburg. 

Recitativ und Cavatine aus Tancred von Rossini, 
gesungen von Fraulein Rosamunde Barnett. 

Concert fiir das Pianoforte von F. Chopin (F. moll, 
erster Satz), gespielt von Fraulein Clara Bar- 
nett aus Cheltenham. 

In June the students of the Conservatory ar- 
ranged an excursion into the country, to which 
they were going to invite the masters, and have a 
" real good time," ending up with a dance. Bache, 
who was full of pride at being " on the committee," 
wrote : — 

Among the amusements there will be played a 
comic Sextett of Mozart for two violins, viola, 
contrabass and two horns, which is called the 
Bauer Sextett:'^ it is very funny indeed, being full 

'■■ Carl August Nicholas Rose (afterwards known as Carl 
Rosa), 1843-1889; violinist, but whose chief fame rests on 
the establishment of the Opera Company that bears his name. 

2 This appears to be the work entitled " Ein musikalischer 
Spass." See catalogue of Mozart's works in Grove's 
Dictionary. 



142 WALTER BACHE [i860 

of wrong progressions, etc., etc., and the effect of 
it is heightened by the performers being dressed in 
old peasant costume. They are going to rehearse 
it at my room tomorrow morning, when I suppose 
we shall kick up an awful row. 

Taylor is really a very clever fellow ; last night 
he gave us an entertainment at Mrs. Barnett's, 
which he called " Professor Taylor's Two Hours 
of Magic," consisting of juggling tricks. He has 
been practising them hard for a long time, and he 
has brought his sleight of hand to such a point 
that he might pass for a professional man in 
the art. 

Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors of to- 
day . . . look on this picture, and on that ! 

This summer was varied by a visit home during 
the holidays at the Conservatory ; and in London, 
on his way back to Leipzig at the beginning of 
August, he heard " Norma " with Grisi " for the 
last time, which was one of the most wonderful 
things I ever heard in my life."^ 

To HIS Father. 

Leipzig, 

Monday, October Z2, i860. 

I have begun to have composition lessons of 
Reinecke,^ the conductor of the Gewandhaus 

■*■ It is not quite clear what is meant here by " for the last 
time," as Grisi did not retire till 1861. 

2 Herr Karl Reinecke ; composer, conductor and pianist 
of distinction. 



i86o] LEIPZIG 143 

concerts. ... I have been working very hard 
since the examination, but have found it difficult 
to get everything into the twenty-four hours, 
because, though I go to bed at proper times, yet I 
have got up much too late in the mornings. Don't 
write to blame me for this, because a blowing-up 
from home is really a very unpleasant thing, coming 
from such a long distance, and it makes me feel 
very miserable ; I see the bad effects of it myself, 
and I must not continue to do it. I am great 
friends now with a young man who is studying 
music here, named Asantschewsky ;^ he is of a 
very rich Russian family, and is studying music in 
order to be able to carry out his idea of founding 
a conservatory in St. Petersburg, and has promised 
me a place as teacher of the piano there : of course 
this is a very vague prospect, and it is a hundred 
to one that nothing will ever come of it ; but he 
looks upon it as settled, and always calls me Pro- 
fessor Bache. However we can talk about this in 
seven or eight years. 

So young Bache went on building his little sand- 
hills and air-castles. And meanwhile time was 
stealing on, and the end of his days of probation 
was at hand. Whatever progress he had made in 
these preliminary years at Leipzig, it is evident 
that his mind was still in an embryo condition as 

1 Michel von Asantschewsky, born at Moscow 1839 ; 
cultivated musician and composer ; director from 187010 1876 
of the St. Petersburg Conservatorium. Died i88i. 



144 WALTER BACHE [i860 

to what he was really going to be. I have before 
me a letter written presumably about this time, in 
which, in one breath, he would like to be an 
operatic composer, "but of course that is out of 
the question, because I have no talent " ; an opera 
singer ; a Capellmeister ! 

The little group of which he was one was fast 
breaking up and going out into the world ; but 
the good-fellowship of student years was kept in 
the main unbroken. 

Mr. Franklin Taylor holds a leading position as 
a teacher in London ; the Barnetts' name, con- 
tinued by the brother, Mr. Domenico Barnett, 
has become a household word at Cheltenham, 
where he is the leading Professor ; but Carl Rosa, 
who made for himself a cosmopolitan reputation 
through his opera company, and Arthur Sullivan, 
who reaped laurels and honours from his Queen 
and country, have both passed away ; while Walter 
Bache's sudden death, thirteen years ago, robbed 
modern music of the one votary to whom is owing 
the introduction into this country of the works of 
Franz Liszt, and to whose persistent advocacy is 
due the growing interest here felt in them during 
the past thirty years. 

Not very long ago it was reported to me, on the 
authority of a musician of high standing, who was 
one of the little Leipzig group just described, that 



i86o] LEIPZIG 145 

Bache had been idle and ' had done nothing but 
amuse himself at Leipzig. Seeing that his letters 
of that time were largely composed of fun and 
frolic, and that he only found his true vocation on 
finding Liszt, I wrote to the musician in question 
to know if this were so. His reply so exactly 
hits ofF young Bache at that period that it is 
transcribed here : — 

Although I do not remember having made the 
remark you quote, I think it quite possible that I 
may have expressed some such opinion. You see 
in Leipzig nobody was compelled to work, there 
being no particular supervision ; and there was 
always plenty to do, in the way of amusement, for 
the less energetic. As far as my recollection serves, 
Bache was at that time rather giveij to working by 
fits and starts, frequently making excellent resolu- 
tions, the effect of which did not last many days. 

Anyhow, I think there can be no doubt that 
it was to his friendship with Liszt that he owed 
that enthusiasm and power of sustained hard work 
which distinguished him during his career in 
London, and which was often the astonishment 
of those who had known him in earlier days. 

Of course, you will not need me to tell you 
what a universal favourite he was in Leipzig. I 
don't think I ever heard a single word spoken 
against him, and I am not sure that I could say 
as much for any other of my colleagues of those 
days. 

10 



146 WALTER BACHE [i860 

So much for the written word ; — I wish I could 
equally transcribe here the pictorial presentment, 
which figured in a certain album of his — albums 
were then the rage — in which his friend Mr. 
Kistner drew a coloured caricature of him. A 
tall, slight figure, with a profusion of light curling 
hair under a canister hat, a plaid wrapped round 
him, and in his hand a portfolio with " Trovatore " 
printed in large letters on it. Evidently that was 
his love at the time ! 

An old beggar woman clutches the fringe of his 
plaid as he is hurrying along, and says : — 

" Ach, horense, mi schones Herrchen, wie 
theuer verkoofen Sie denn den Teppich?"^ 

' Saxon dialect. " Hark ye, my pretty young sir, what will 
you sell your carpet for }" 



IV 

ITALY 
1861 

TT is strange how we overlook the stones which 
turn, it may be, the whole course of our life's 
stream ! In looking back, long afterwards, we 
perhaps see that if we had taken the right-hand 
road, instead of the left, such-and-such things would 
have happened — whereby the whole course of our 
career would have been altered. 

In September this year young Bache went to 
Italy — a mere leap in the dark at the time ; for it 
was not until many years later that he attained any 
independent position of his own, and everything 
that he was now attempting was simply with a 
view to its being useful to him at a somewhat 
chimerical future period. Yet it was here in Italy 
that he met his fate, and that, later on, the step 
was taken which made him the man he eventually 
became. He settled down in Milan for a few 
months ; but, failing to find anything to do, he 
10 — 2 



148 WALTER BACHE [1861 

moved on to Florence early in the following year, 
having been advised that, owing to the much 
greater number of English there, he would stand 
a far better chance. In Milan he had made the 
acquaintance of Signer Gustave Garcia,^ which he 
renewed a few years later in London ; also of 
Marchesi.2 

Arrived in Florence, a few extracts from his 
own letters will best tell of his views, his chances 
of getting on, and the friends he made. 

To HIS Sister. 

Florence, 

March I, 1862. 

My dear Maggie, 

I have been received with the greatest 
possible kindness by Mme. Laussot,^ who is really 

1 Mr. Gustave Garcia, son of the renowned Manuel Garcia, , 
and now a Professor at the Royal College of Music. 

^ Cavaliere Salvatore Marchesi ; a celebrated singer and 
teacher ; father of the present distinguished singer Mme. 
Blanche Marchesi. 

3 Mme. Laussot — afterwards Mme. Hillebrand — an English 
lady who devoted herself heart and soul to the cause of music 
in Florence. She founded the Musical Society there, called 
the Societa Cherubini, of which she was herself the conductor. 
She was the intimate friend of all the leading musicians of 
the day, notably of Liszt, Wagner and Biilow ; and she had 
an absolute genius for discovering the exact worth and capa- 
bilities of young musicians. Thus her practical help formed 
the turning-point in Bache's career, and no less so in that of 
Signori Sgambati of Rome and Buonamici of Florence. Bache 
exactly hit the mark when he described her as " the most 
thorough musician of any lady I ever knew." 



1862] ITALY 149 

one of the best and kindest people I ever met ; I 
might fill three or four letters with praising her, but 
could not say half enough. She is also a first-rate 
musician, and plays the piano capitally. Thanks 
to her I am already in some very pleasant English 
society, and have got three lessons a week 
(Pianoforte) at five francs a lesson, very high 
terms indeed. She has been also getting me up a 
harmony class, which I expect will begin next 
week, and by which I shall make a good deal of 
money. It is even possible that I may have two 
classes, as there are too many to put all into one, 
and that they will each take two lessons a week, 
in which case I should be set up entirely on my 
own hook ; but you see I am beginning again to 
count my chickens before they are hatched, and I 
ought to know better after so much experience. 
All this will stop during three or four summer 
months, but I believe that next winter I shall be 
able to do very well, if not even brilliantly ; time 
will show ! . . . 

The English here are some of the nicest people 
I ever met ; I go out almost every evening to 
visit some of them ; every Thursday is a meeting 
at Mme. Laussot's for choral singing ; I can only 
get admittance by pretending to sing bass. Every 
Sunday evening I am invited to dinner at 
Mme. Laussot's. You can't think how grand I 
feel when the landlady calls me Signor Professore 
and Signor Maestro. . . . My address is now 
Borgo S.S. Apostoli 1176. You have no idea 
what a beautiful town this is ; one can't go two 



I50 WALTER BACHE [1862 

yards without seeing a statue or painting or some- 
thing else beautiful ; also the weather is delight- 
fully warm. But now I must stop ; this letter is 
awfully rambling, but I have been at work on my 
great Harmony treatise till I was quite tired. I 
have finished the preface, and am just in the 
middle of the biography of the author. 

Two things are apparent in many of the letters 
of this period : firstly how Bache at the age of 
twenty, and for some time after, was extremely 
given to counting his chickens before they were 
hatched, and indeed at this tinie few of them were 
ever hatched at all ; and secondly how his letters 
are an extraordinary mixture of play and serious- 
ness. 

Writing to his brother, March 20, 1862, he 
says : — 

I gave my introduction to Mme. Ungher- 
Sabatier today ; she was very kind indeed, and 
said that her niece, who made her debut at 
Blumenthal's concert, should take harmony lessons 
from me next winter ; this summer they are all 
going to the exhibition in London. . . . Mr. 
Matthews^ introduced me to Maglioni today, 
who gives matinees of German music, at some of 
which I shall play. Mme. Laussot will give a 

1 Mr. and Mrs. Matthews' names are frequently mentioned 
in his letters home ; Mrs. Matthews is a sister of the late Lord 
Leighton. 



1862] ITALY 151 

large party on Monday, at which I shall play a 
duet of Thalberg's on " Norma " for two pianos 
with her, some variations of Mendelssohn's with 
violoncello, and a transcription of " Robert, toi 
que j'aime " by Prudent. . . . 

I am expecting Asantschewsky here every day, 
which will be a great pleasure to me, though I 
hardly se6 how I shall get my work done and yet 
be with him much ; but both must be done, so I 
suppose they will be done somehow. 

To His Father. 

Florence, 

May 21, l86z. 

I hope you will not be displeased at the step 
which I am going to take, and which I do entirely 
at the strong advice of Mme. Laussot — namely, to 
go to Rome for a month. I have just given my 
last harmony lesson today ; there is nothing more 
to be done here till the autumn ; and the season 
at Livorno (Leghorn), where I have now decided 
to go instead of to Lucca, does not begin for a 
month. Liszt is living at Rome, and Mme. 
Laussot most strongly advises me to go to him, 
ask him to hear me play and give me his opinion 
and advice, and then trust to the chance of his 
offering to give me lessons. Liszt is without 
doubt the greatest pianist, and the kindness with 
which he treats all young artists who are really in 
earnest is proverbial. I do not look upon the 
advantages of this plan as certain ; he may hear 
me play once, give me his advice and nothing more, 



152 WALTER BACHE [1862 

in which case I should stop my month in Rome, 
practise hard, see the town, and then go to Livorno. 
He may tell me to come again, and give me three 
or four lessons during this month. He might 
even find me something to do, so that I could stop 
there all the summer ; but this is most improbable, 
as there are so few people in Rome during the 
summer. He might tell me to come to him next 
winter, when (unless in case of war) there would 
be no doubt at all of my being able to support 
myself, and I might even make a good deal of 
money. I can't tell you how it would grieve me 
to leave Florence ; but still I should do it without 
a moment's hesitation, for Liszt is without doubt 
the greatest pianist and piano teacher living, and 
in every respect a most wonderfully educated 
musician and man, and the advantage of being 
with him would be incomparable. . . . 

Mme. Laussot (though knowing Liszt well) will 
not give me any introduction to him ; she says it 
is much better to go without one, to say who I am 
and what I want, and she says that she has never 
known him disappoint anyone, although he has 
been applied to by people of very inferior ability. 

The story, as told to me by Mme. Laussot 
herself years afterwards, reads like a page out of a 
novel. When Bache first tried to settle in Florence, 
she was his very best friend, for her kindnesses were 
not confined to hospitalities alone, but she pos- 
sessed that practical English common-sense which 



1 862] ITALY 153 

showed young artists how to help themselves. 
Her power of judgment and discrimination speedily 
showed her exactly what Bache's character was ; 
and, endeared as he became to her by his delight- 
ful naivete, ingenuousness and simplicity, she met 
his too easy-going temperament never by lecturing 
or scolding, but by seeking a practical way of 
curing him. Thus, to counteract this tendency, 
she arranged a harmony or choral class for him 
some little way out of the town, and fixed it at an 
early morning hour in order to force him to get 
up early ! 

In the more important step of sending him to 
Liszt, she purposely refrained from giving him any 
personal introduction, because she wanted Liszt to 
judge of him on his own merits alone, and not to 
be biassed by any feeling of complaisance towards 
herself. Even at the last moment she sent her 
friend Mr. Price — who was to Bache a sort of 
mentor-friend, being several years older than he — 
to see him off, in order to be satisfied that he 
really was safely gone. Mr. Price gave the most 
amusing description of him and his portmanteau, 
which he believed did not contain much beyond a 
pair of white kid gloves. We must not forget also 
the pistols in case of brigands ; see next letter. 

When Bache did call upon Liszt, he was dread- 
fully hurt because Liszt thought he had come to 



154 WALTER BACHE [1862 

borrow money ! What an insight it gives into 
Liszt's life that this should be his first thought 
when a young stranger came to hlm.^ 

I do not know how it may be with other profes- 
sions, but with the musical profession I can vouch 
for it that they are expected to live with their 
hand in their pocket. Some twenty years after 
this happened, a musician who was in straits came 
to Bache literally begging. Bache was hard up 
for ready money at the time, and offered him ^^5 
(which was the utmost he could do). Oh no, said 
the man, that would not be the least help ; he 
wanted £10 ! 

A journey by diligence is becoming so much a 
thing of the past, that I cannot forbear to quote a 
few sentences about it in the following letter. 

To HIS Father. 

Rome, 

Monday, "June 2, 1862. 

I arrived here yesterday morning after a journey 
of five and a half days. ... I left Florence in a 
carriage on Tuesday morning ; the journey was 
really very interesting, through some of the most 
beautiful country of Italy : I found the journey 

1 Mr. Hipkins says : "Walter told me he was so nervous 
when he first called on Liszt, that he could not articulate a 
word. Liszt, pitying him, said kindly, 'Brauchen Sie Geld?' 
(Are you in want of money ?)" 



1862] ITALY 155 

rather expensive (about 85 francs), but am really- 
glad to have made it, as in a few years the railway 
will have put an end to all that kind of travelling. 
We went by way of Perugia, which is one of the 
oldest towns of Italy, and near to which there 
is a splendid lake : previously to starting I spent 
25 francs in getting a pair of pistols, for which 
however there was fortunately no use, except to 
take an occasional shot at the butterflies, which I 
invariably missed. . . . 

Last night I heard " Roberto il Diavolo " very 
well performed, with the tenor Tiberini who sang 
at our theatre after the last Birmingham Festival, 
and a bass singer, Atry, whom I have heard about 
twenty times in the same part in Milan, and who 
is one of the greatest artists living. The pope is 
evidently afraid of the devil, for the opera is 
announced as " Roberto di Piccardia," whereas he 
really came from Normandia ; then instead of the 
Princess of Arragon we have the Countess of 
Shetland! and a good deal more nonsense of the 
same kind. I shall get my piano today, and go 
to ascertain my fate with Liszt tomorrow, so that 
in my next letter I can tell you everything. 

On the 6th he sent one brief line to his father, 
saying : — " Liszt has been very kind indeed to 
me" ; so the portentous visit had taken place. 

Shortly after this he wrote from Leghorn : — 

My visit to Rome has been satisfactory in every 
respect ; I have been strongly encouraged to go 



156 WALTER BACHE [1862 

there next winter, and Liszt has told me to come 
to him and he will give me an occasional lesson : 
this is the greatest possible advantage I could have. 

To HIS Sister. 

Via Vittorio Emanuele, 29, 5™° piano, 
Livorno, 

July 25, 1862. 

My dear Maggie, 

Mr. Macbean, the Roman banker, is very 
kind to me, and has no doubt of my success in 
Rome ; he can introduce me into the best English 
society, and I shall have many of Edward's old 
friends there, — Mr. Goddard, Mr. Perkins, etc., 
etc., etc. ... I go out three or four times a 
week to the Ardenza (a place about three miles 
from Leghorn, where all the fashionables live, but 
where I couldn't afford it) to see Price, and the 
family of the Ritters^ whom I like very much: 
they are all going to Rome this winter. 

I have made a great rise in the world ; my land- 
lady told me that all her lodgers were leaving 
because I practised so much, and so she must really 
beg me to go : so, to avoid the bother of packing 
up, I took a room up on the fifth story in the 
same house ; thus I only had to take my things by 
instalments under my arm and make the ascent : 
here I can make as much row as I like : my land- 
lady considered herself rather the injured party, 

1 The family of the Ritters is frequently mentioned in the 
Life and Letters of Biilow; Alexander and Carl Ritter being 
two of his closest friends in early days. 



1862] ITALY 157 

because I had told her when I came that I was 
maestro di musica ; whereas she insisted on it that 
a maestro could play already, and didn't want to 
study, and quoted me no end of instances of 
Leghorn masters who never practised at all. 

He was now most anxious to leave Florence out 
of the question, and return to Rome for the 
following winter, for the chance of lessons from 
Liszt, He wrote : — 

I hope I have not exaggerated in talking about 
Liszt ; he won't make me anything wonderful, so 
that I can come home and set the Thames on fire 
— not at all, so don't expect it ; but — his readings 
or interpretations are greater and higher than any- 
one else's ; if I can spend some time with him and 
go through a good deal of music with him, I shall 
pick up at least a great deal of his ideas ; . . . 
The two or three lessons I had of him this summer 
showed me what an immensity I might learn. 

So to Rome he went, and there he was fortunate 
enough to obtain the post of organist to the 
English church, which was at any rate one step on 
the ladder of independence. He had good intro- 
ductions, and soon got into a pleasant circle of 
friends, old and new : Mr. Macbean the banker ; 
Mr. Woodward the clergyman of the English 
church, who had previously known Edward Bache ; 
Miss Cushman ; the Ritter family ; Miss Hosmer 



158 WALTER BACHE [1862 

and Mr. Gibson the sculptors, and others. On 
October 1 1 he wrote : — 

I have not yet seen Liszt, though I have called 
twice, but I shall go again tomorrow; he has 
lately lost his daughter,^ which makes him very 
sad. . . . 

Writing on October 22 to Mme. Laussot, he 
says : — 

I have seen Liszt twice for about two minutes 
each time : he is still very sad indeed, but I can't 
tell you how kind : he asked after you almost the 
first thing, and seemed really pleased at the thought 
of your coming in the spring ; today, his birthday, 
was the second time I saw him, and without my 
saying a word about it he told me to come on 
Monday and he would give me a lesson. . . . He 
says he shall come to the English church some 
time to hear what I do there. ... I have sud- 
denly come to a dead stop and can't think of any- 
thing else to say : therefore I will do like the 
concert programmes and make an interval of half 
an hour, during which I can smoke a cigar and 
practise the Gradus, and if the spirit does not 
move me then, I will put on a nice little coda and 
conclude. 

The Gradus has not given me any new ideas, 
so I will stop : I only hope that this letter will not 
find you "down at the mouth" and indisposed 

1 The wife of M. Emile OUivier. 



i862] ITALY 159 

for letter-writing : you are not obliged to read the 
Armonia every morning at breakfast and the 
Osservatore Romano after dinner, and then to 
hear the very worst and vulgarest noisy ballet 
music which ever entered into the thick brain of 
the very worst and vulgarest noisy Italian Gassen- 
hauer composer. So I hope you will write very 
soon : please do, and give me all the news. I 
have written to Price already and expect an answer 
soon : I miss him quite as much as I do you, which 
is saying a great deal : to be without you both is 
like having to hobble along without a walking- 
stick. I greatly fear that this loss combined with 
that of the dressing-gown is turning my few re- 
maining hairs quite gray ; but hair dye and cigars 
are cheap in Rome, so there will be one sunny side 
to the case. I have not yet got any pupils, but 
hope I shall have some very soon. 

To Mme. Laussot. 

Rome, 

December 14, 1862. 

I don't wonder at your being surprised at my 
silence ; but though I have constantly thought of 
you, I have never felt inclined to write, having 
nothing good to tell, or rather having so much to 
make me " grumpy " that the good shrinks into 
insignificance alongside of it. However I will try 
to get through a few lines in a tolerably contented 
spirit. " Sufficient unto the day," etc. (this is the 
text — here goes for the sermon, which will not be 
divided into three heads). . . . 



i6o WALTER BACHE [1862 

I have seen a great deal of Liszt, and heard him 
play several times ; also had three lessons. The 
Ritters have got a piano, and he will po there 
sometimes and play to them. He gives lessons to 
Sgambati,^ a very talented young pianist here, and 
a particular friend of mine, and also plays Sonatas, 
etc., with Ramacciotti, a violinist. We are better 
off for music here than in Florence. Ramacciotti's 
Quartett concerts begin on Wednesday ; I shall 
play at the second or third one. By-the-by I 
played Schumann's A Minor Sonata with viola, 
Mozart's G Major, and Mendelssohn's D Minor 
Trio (got up in a week) at the German Club, and 
had great success. 

1 Giovanni Sgambati ; Liszt's pupil, now the renowned 
virtuoso in Rome. 



V 

ROME {continued) 

1863 

A LETTER home, early in the New Year, 
contains the following : — 

Liszt is very kind and I hear him play often, 
though I have only had three or four lessons as 
yet. ... I have some very good friends among 
the musicians here, especially Sgambati, the piano 
player, who is very talented, and one of the nicest 
fellows I ever knew : also a young violin player, 
who is a really good fellow, besides bemg remark- 
ably handsome, and — what shall I call it.'' — fasci- 
nating. It is quite as much pleasure to see him 
and Sgambati play together as to hear them. 

To Mme. Laussot. 

Rome, 

January 30, 1863. 

I was very glad indeed of your most jolly letter, 
which gave me great pleasure, and which I won't 
delay any longer answering. Liszt has received 
1 1 



162 WALTER BACHE [1863 

your book-marker, for which he was very much 
obliged : he intends to write to you soon. Had 
I written a day sooner, I should have astonished 
you by the news that he was going to play in 
public once more ; but he sent me a note yester- 
day, saying that it had come to nothing. The 
fact was that the Pope and Cardinals had persuaded 
him to consent to play two P. F. solos in an " Ac- 
cademia sacra," which was to have taken place in 
the little church of St. Rosario where he lives. 
Tickets at two napoleons each were to be sold for 
the benefit of St. Peter's pence. I don't at all 
know why it has been given up. 

Liszt tells me to say that, if you would like {i.e., 
unless you have already got) his arrangement of 
Schubert's Fantasie Op. 15 for two pianos, he 
should be happy to make you a present of it. He 
arranged the Fantasie for P. F. and orchestra (sym- 
phonisch bearbeitet fiir P. F. und Orchester), and 
then arranged the part of the orchestra for a 
second piano. Sgambati will play it at his concert, 
and I shall accompany him. 

I have as yet not been able to decide anything 
about my concert, having nothing to play {i.e., that 
I care to play). But I must give one, as it won't 
do to leave perhaps 100 scudi lying by the road- 
side when I might just as easily pick them up : as 
yet I have not a single piece ready, but hope by 
working hard to get the following stunning pro- 
gramme ready in about four weeks : — 

Sonate, P. F. and Cello, Chopin ; F sharp minor 
Fantasie, Mendelssohn ; " Les Preludes " ; Violin 



1863] ROME 163 

Variations by David-Pinelli ; Nocturne, SchulhofF 
(very pretty and Italian) ; and " Les Patineurs," 
Liszt. I am not very enthusiastic about the Men- 
delssohn Fantasie, but it is awfully "classical " and 
will delight the people, besides having some real 
artistic worth. I should never have dreamed of 
trying the " Patineurs," which is quite new to me, 
and which I can no more play than fly, had not 
Liszt encouraged me to it, and assured me I was 
quite equal to it. I hope he is right ! 

While I think of it, never again attempt to 
"mark, learn, and inwardly digest" the Fantasia 
Cromatica, without getting Billow's edition of it. 
Bote and Bock ; it is splendid — quite equivalent 
to having had a lesson on it from Liszt. 

I have been obliged to give up going out in the 
evenings; very stupid, I know, because one loses 
all one's connections ; but the days go so fast, that 
I assure you that, by stopping at home all the 
evening, I don't do more than four hours a day. 
The only exception I make is for balls, which I 
can't resist, and of which I have had several jolly 
ones ; but I am thankful to have done with being 
pestered to play on bad pianos and to people who 
don't care for it (perhaps talk all the time), and 
then with being thought to " make a fuss of one's 
self" if one refuses. 

It has been remarked to me more than once in 
Bache's later years what an indomitable resolute- 
ness there was in his character ; thus, when he was 
in the full swing of his twenty years' annual con- 
II — 2 



1 64 WALTER BACHE [1863 

certs, he would say " I mean to play such and such 
pieces &,t my next concert," and this perhaps only a 
few months before the concert, and when he had 
not touched a single one of them. It sounds like 
conceit, and in some men it might have been ; but 
he was so entirely free from conceit, and thought 
so very humbly of himself, in his mature years, 
that no one could accuse him of this. It was that 
he set himself such and such a duty to do : it 
simply had to be done, and where other men 
would have said "if possible" he said "I must." 
Though partly inherited from his father, it seemed 
as if this quality had been acquired from Biilow, 
who certainly had more influence on him than any 
man in the world except Liszt ; but the above 
letter shows that, even as a young man of twenty, 
he was beginning on the same principle. 

To Mme. Laussot. 

February 19. 

When are you coming .?...! hope you will 
really come soon, and bring all your family with 
you ; and don't come just too late for the Ritters. 
I have not seen them for a fortnight, and don't 
know at all how long they stay. I am very sorry 
that I must stop now, but my candle is smorzando- 
ing and I am bitterly cold ; I wonder the ink is not 
frozen. ... I think I told you that I played the 
Rubinstein Trio at Ramacciotti's chamber concerts : 



1863] ROME 165 

Sgambati played Bach's D Minor Concerto (with 
accompaniment) last time splendidly. We are 
really better off here than in Florence. Pinelli,i 
Sgambati and Ramacciotti are three angels, and 
(the two former especially) play splendidly, 
especially when they have rehearsed with Liszt. 
Well good-bye. Please to write soon — very soon, 
telling me everything, and remember me most 
particularly to . . . 

Believe me, my dear Mme. Laussot, 
Yours affectionately, 

Walter Bache. 

Please bring the dressing-gown ! 

And a week later, to the same friend : — 

I have just been hearing Liszt play at the 
Ritters' : he played us several of the " Switzer- 
land " series of his " Annees de Pelerlnage " : I 
like them immensely, excepting "William Tell's 
Chapel," which I could not make much of. Well 
there is really no use in my writing any more, as 
I shall see you soon. We are swarmed with 
concerts here, and almost all have really good pro- 
grammes. ... I particularly hope that you will 
make the acquaintance of Sgambati and Pinelli. 
Pupils are " partant pour la Syrie," or Naples, or 
London, but I still have fifteen lessons a week. 

Being as usual quite at a loose end as regarded 

any settled position, he paid a visit home this 

1 Signer Ettore Pinelli, violinist, and one of several gifted 
brothers who made a reputation in Italy. 



1 66 WALTER BACHE [1863 

summer. On the eve of starting he wrote to 
Mme. Laussot : — 

Rome, 

May 15, 1863. 

I just write you a line to tell you that I have 
decided to leave for England, and shall go the day 
after tomorrow. . . . Liszt is very well, and 
disgusted with life, and the Ritters are gone to 
Naples (leaving a large box behind them). 
Frl. Stein is gone to Ariccia, and I am solus — in 
your old lodgings. Please not to give my re- 
membrances to Sgambati, and say 1 don't wish 
him any success at all. And do please ask him 
what he means by promising to write, when he 
has not the slightest earthly intention of keeping 
his word. Of course I can forgive him this ; but 
really the fellow has made so many appointments 
and promises with me this season and broken 
them all, that if we are to be good friends next 
year I must cut him. Pinelli and I invited about 
a hundred of our friends to a musical Unterhaltung 
at Ramacciotti's house on Wednesday : we played 
Mozart's P.F. Es dur Quartett, Chopin's Cis moll 
Polonaise, Schubert's Rondo and Wieniawski's 
Polonaise ; and as the people were not satisfied 
with that but " asked for more," we forked out 
Ramacciotti's electric machine and gave all the 
young ladies shocks ; this made more effect than 
all the rest put together, and quite made up for 
the want of cake and ices. Pinelli desires re- 
membrances. I must really stop now, as I am 
horribly sleepy and out of sorts, and have twenty- 



1863] ROME 167 

five calls to make tomorrow. I have been 
hearing "Mose"^ five or six times, and have be- 
come as italianissimo as ever. Would you tell 
Sgambati that Ramacciotti is a little better. 

To Mme. Laussot. 

Birmingham, 

June 19, 1863. 

My DEAR Mme. Laussot, 

A thousand thanks for your kind letter 
which I received on my return home about three 
weeks ago : since then I have had a charming 
letter from Sgam&ati, enclosed to me by Mr. Burn 
Callander,^ who has asked me to call upon him In 
London. I am come of age today — come into 
all my property. I suppose you will soon leave 
for the baths of Lucca, but I hope this letter may 
be in time to catch you before your departure. 
One thing I wanted to say to you — we talked a 
great deal about an orchestral concert which you 
were to give next winter and at which I should 
play : I merely wanted to mention that in case 
you should prefer to have Sgambati again, in 
order that he may renew his Florence acquaint- 
ances, I am sure you know me well enough not 
to stand on ceremony with me : on the other hand 
I confess that I should enjoy coming above any- 
thing, and wish also to get known as much as 
possible, especially among the English. Perhaps 

1 " Mose in Egitto," Rossini's Opera. 

2 Mr. W. T. Burn Callander, a good amateur musician. 
A friend of Mme. Laussot, and afterwards of the Baches. 



1 68 WALTER BACHE [1863 

I am rather premature in bothering you in June 
with what comes off perhaps next spring and 
perhaps never. . . . 

I return to Rome at the beginning of October 
and shall do everything in my power to call in 
upon you for a day. I fear I shall then be 
obliged to stop in Italy till I leave it for good, 
which will probably not be as long as Liszt is 
there. . . . 

My father and sisters would send most par- 
ticular remembrances, only they don't know I am 
writing, and it is too much trouble to go and tell 
them. » 

Believe me. 

Ever your very affectionate " uncle,"^ 

W. Bache. 

It was on October i this year that the per- 
formance of " St. Paul " took place (see p. loi), 
to obtain funds for the erection of a memorial 
window to his brother Edward. 

Bache took the opportunity of being on the 
spot to give a Pianoforte Recital in his native 
town, and already began at this early period to 
drive in the thin end of that wedge at which he 
hammered so persistently and consistently all his 
life, four out of the eleven numbers of his pro- 
gramme being by Liszt. Immediately after this 

1 " Uncle Bache " or " Bachey" became his nickname with 
Mme. Laussot ; she, in her turn, being " Grandmother." 



1863] ROME 169 

he returned to Rome, whence he writes to his 
father : — 

Via dei Cappuccini, 6, l™° piano, 
Rome, 

October 19, 1863. 

. . . Since beginning this I have spent one of 
the most delightful days of my life, and I often 
wished for some of you to be with me. Liszt has 
removed to Monte Mario, about two and a half 
miles from my part of the town : on a high hill, 
and adjoining or forming part of a beautiful 
country church ; so my first visit was to him. 
He was very very kind — more than I can tell you. 
He has removed to this place on purpose to get 
away from people and live quietly. It is a 
magnificent country, with a splendid view of 
Rome, and no houses for miles. But this will 
make no difference to my visiting him, he said. 
He is writing a great deal : but he put it aside 
and took me a beautiful walk, and played me 
several things (amongst others a Prelude and 
Fugue of his own for organ — on the name Bach, 
which I will show Alfred when he has finished 
what he has already), and ordered dinner on 
purpose for me ; and so ' I stopped all day, and 
have just had a most magnificent walk home — but 
descriptions of scenery are always stupid and fall 
so far short of the reality — I wish you could have 
seen it. He accompanied me part way home, and 
promised to come and see me tomorrow evening. 
Liszt desired me to give you his " compliments 
or kind regards." 



lyo WALTER BACHE [1863 

A letter to Mme. Laussot, about the same time, 
says : — 

I enclose you a programme of my recital/ which 
was really a great success : I played my very best, 
and got splendid critiques and lots of applause, 
and — better than all — from £12 to £1^. I played 
everything by heart, except the two first pieces. I 
was so nervous in the beginning. The " St. Paul " 
performance went off very well, and I got capital 
critiques in the papers: I had to slave at the 
Overture for months beforehand, and arrange it 
expressly for organ from the score : it was very 
difficult. A very good German organ-builder 
resident in Rome has put up a large organ for sale 
in the Palazzo Altieri : I am going to see it 
tomorrow, and if I like it I intend in a couple of 
months, when more people are come, to give an 
organ recital. 1 should play Liszt's magnificent 
Organ Fantasie and Fugue on the chorale from 
the " Prophete," a wonderful masterpiece that lasts 
about three-quarters of an hour ; Liszt's Organ 
transcription of the " Tannhauser " Pilger-Chor 
(just published, and which I have played in Eng- 
land) ; Mendelssohn's Sixth Organ Sonata ; and 
an Allegro of my brother's which will please the 
Italians. A good programme, nichi wahr ? 

Sgambati is awfully improved : he and Pinelli 
are really almost angels : I brought Pinelli the 
Joachim Concerto to study. I spent all day 

1 His recital at Birmingham, and the memorial perfor- 
mance of " St. Paul " there. 



1863] ROME 171 

yesterday with Liszt at Monte Mario, and enjoyed 
myself immensely, but have just told my father 
all about it in a long letter, and so shan't repeat it. 

A month later he writes to his father : — 

I have heard Liszt play again since I last wrote : 
he came to my house and played for almost an 
hour and a half I must not leave Rome for 
good, as long as he is here. ... It is also an 
immense advantage to have a real friend like 
Sgambati, who is also a pianist of my own age, 
and in most respects far above me. 

In the middle of December he played at one of 
the concerts of the German Club, and wrote to his 
father : — 

I had a very great success : the Faust Valse 
especially I played a great deal better than I ever 
have before, and Liszt was very much pleased. 
I must work hard now at a Trio of Schubert's, 
E Flat, which I am going to play in a fortnight 
at Ramacciotti's concert. 



VI 

ROME {continued) 

1864 

To Mme. Laussot. 

Cappuccini, 6, i"° piano, 
Rome, 

January 7, 1864. 

I am very busy and have not seen Liszt for some 
weeks, but must make a push to go out to him in 
a day or two, as I am going to play Schubert's 
E Flat Trio and the Sonata Appassionata at 
Ramacciotti's concert next Thursday, and want 
to go through them with Liszt. The Trio seems 
very easy, but has some things that are intensely 
difficult to play up to the proper time ; but I hope 
I shall manage them. I had a regular triumph at 
a concert at the German Club three weeks ago, 
with the Faust Waltz : I played better than my 
best, and Liszt was very much pleased ; also I 
played the Mendelssohn C Minor Trio with Pinelli 
and Furino, a capital Neapolitan 'cellist who is 
come at last to settle at Rome. We have also 



1864] ROME 173 

had Franchomme^ here for a few weeks : I heard 
him play Chopin's Senate with the Princess 
Czartoryska,^ which was one of the greatest treats 
I ever had. Sgambati plays even better than last 
year, and works very hard. I have not heard 
many pianists whom I care for so much, though 
I differ from him immensely in my ideas about 
many pieces. ... I am expecting my friend 
Asantschewsky (who has turned out quite a swell 
composer — vide Neue Zeitschrift) here this winter. 
Well, I have told you all the news, and hope 
that you will forgive my past offences, and let me 
go to bed, lest I should oversleep a lesson or two 
tomorrow morning. 

A letter to his sister contains the following 
remarks, which show what a ridiculous espionage 
the Roman police at that time exercised : — 

^ Auguste Joseph Franchomme, 1 808- 18 84; violoncellist; 
lived in Paris ; was very intimate with Chopin, and with him 
at the time of his death. 

2 Mr. Hipkins writes : "The Princess Marcelline Czar- 
toryska, a capital pianist, trained by Czerny, became after- 
wards one of Chopin's best pupils. She gave a P. F. Recital 
in London in 1855, at the Marquis of Breadalbane's, for the 
benefit of the Polish Society, tickets 40s. each ; and played 
beautifully. I knew her very well, and have occasionally 
corresponded with her up to quite recent years. She is lately 
dead." 

Liszt spoke of her as "possessed of a rare and fine under- 
standing, the most charming figure in society, and a kindly 
and enthusiastic worshipper of Mozart, Beethoven and 
Chopin; and, above all this, the illuminating faith of the 
Catholic Church reflected in Polish blood." 



174 WALTER BACHE [1864 

I enclose you the programme of Sgambati's 
concert, which is really first-rate : the Schubert 
Fantasie is one of the grandest things (in Liszt's 
arrangement) that I ever heard, and he plays it 
really perfectly. The Tartini Sonate, as you 
know, is called " Le Trille du Diable," but the 
police would not allow the word diable ! 

The piece therefore figured in the programme 
as " Le Trille du Follet." Sgambati and Bache 
combined their forces in the two-piano arrange- 
ment of Liszt's "Les Preludes." 

His own concert followed on the heels of 
Sgambati's, and took place on March 5. He 
and Sgambati repeated the " Preludes." Their 
mutual friend, Ettore Pinelli the violinist, figured 
at both concerts. The report sent home was that 
the concert was a success, and that "Liszt was 
present and was quite satisfied." 

To Mme. Laussot. 

Bagni di Lucca, 

August 8, 1864. 

My concert takes place this evening. ... I 
shall play the " Patineurs " — the whole of it for the 
first time. I am so vexed — I lent my piano — the 
best here — and the facchini have broken something 
inside it — I don't know what — the piano can't be 

used — I shall have a wretched H instead. 

. . . Don't you think I am a baby to cry so? 



1864] ROME 175 

But it doesn't hurt you, and it does me so much 
good ; I began to write in the depths of grumpiness, 
and feel quite cheerful now. But now for my 
good news : I gave my concert last week and 
played quite my best — ^had all the swells in the 
place there (the most stupid public you ever saw) ; 
and though (what with singer, Papini,^ room, 
piano, etc., etc.) I had nearly 300 francs expenses! 
yet I cleared 140 francs, which is better than 
nothing. I played Ehlert's^ Scherzo pretty well, 
though I shall do it better in six months — I had 
only had the music three weeks before the concert : 
unfortunately the public seemed to think it was a 
berceuse, for most of them went to sleep, and the 
rest talked. But I took the Faust Waltz at a 
stunning rate, and altogether it went jolly, so that 
the concert ended brilliantly enough. 

Somebody at Rome wrote to me the other day, 
and said something which you may put down in 
your good-conduct book : " Les bonnes nouvelles 
que vous me donnez de Mme. L. me sont fort 
agreables. J'espere qu'elle me fera le plaisir de 
revenir a Rome, car je n'entrevois aucune chance 
d'aller a Florence. Veuillez dire a Mme. L. 
qu'elle me ferait injure si elle ne me comptait 
parmi ses adherens les plus veritablement afFec- 
tionnes et devoues. En particulier je lui conserve 
une reconnaissante memoire de 1' " Ideale " et de 

1 Mr. Guido Papini, a distinguished violinist ; now Pro- 
fessor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. 

2 Ludwig Ehlert, 1825-1884; pianist, composer and 
musical writer. 



176 WALTER BACHE [1864 

tout ce qui s'y attache. EUe est du tres petit nombre 
des nobles et intelligentes exceptions dans le trop 
grand nombre de mes amis et connaissances. J'en 
parlais dans ce sens avant-hier a une jeune personne 
d'origine grecque qui habite Florence (ou elle 
frequente les concerts de Mme. L.) chez le Comte 
de Sartiges. L'Athenienne joue du piano a 
merveille et a ravir." 

Allow me to add Amen to this. Liszt is going 
to Germany in the middle of August for the 
'Tonkunstler-Versammlung in Carlsruhe ; then to 
Weimar and Paris, and back to Rome at the 
beginning of October. . . . 

Now I must go and dress for these wretched 
" Patineurs ": how I tremble, oh -v^/wx/v~^/^~^~n 

Postscript tomorrow. 

(After the concert.) I am so disgusted with 
myself and the public that, instead of stopping for 
the ball, I have come home to finish my letter. I 
made no regular mess in the " Patineurs," and did 
one or two things even piquant and well, but what 
with that wretched public talking, the keys all wet 
and sloppy, a bad piano, and my nervousness, the 
whole thing was " meschino." Even Papini missed 
a lot of harmonic notes owing to the heat, though 
he otherwise played well. ... I don't think I 
need be discouraged about this evening : even 
the greatest pianists generally play some compara- 
tively easy thing first, or some piece which they 
have played hundreds of times ; whereas I played 
only one piece, and had no opportunity of 



1864] ROME 177 

" warming to my work." Uebrigens I was much 
applauded, and don't suppose that even one person 
noticed anything amiss. . . . Well, now I must 
go to bed ; I think I have told you everything. 



To Mme. Laussot. 

Rome, 

October 2 8, 1864. 

I received your long welcome letter, welcome 
in spite of its awful blowing up, the other day, 
and lose no time in writing to thank you sincerely. 

Who on earth taught you to blow up in such a 
way ? It is quite masterly, and winds up from a 
small beginning to a climax which is not surpassed 
by anything in Beethoven. But seriously, I plead 
guilty to almost everything, and really hope that 
your letter will do me good, as, with one excep- 
tion, I deserve everything you say. . . . 

Also what do you mean by telling me to " profit 
by Liszt and Sgambati " : I can conscientiously 
say that since I have been in Rome I have never 
let slip one opportunity of profiting by Liszt : as 
for Sgambati, it was impossible to have any music 
at all with him : he was so dreadfully unpunctual, 
forgetful, and entirely unreliable. I have wasted 
so many afternoons in waiting for him that I was 
obliged to give it up. But thanks to somebody 
or other (to you perhaps?) he has entirely changed 
now : thus the only thing which made a coolness 
between us is removed: we get on stunningly, 
and have one day in the week when we play to 
12 



178 WALTER BACHE [1864 

each other and find fault with each other as much 
as possible : this is an immense advantage to me. 

To Mme. Laussot. 

Rome, 

November 9, 1864. 

My very dear Grandmother, 

Your letter was so jolly, and made me 
really so happy that I can't help answering it at 
once. I really hope that it will do me good, as it 
ought to do, for I perfectly agree with every word 
of it, and it is just the kind of thing my father has 
often and often told me : but somehow or other 
one does not profit as one ought to do by what 
one's father tells one. It is really wrong, but I 
am afraid it is a fact. I intend to give Sgambati 
and Ravnkilde the benefit of your letter, which I 
shall keep. . . . Sgambati is really such a mag- 
nificent player now, that there could be no two 
opinions about him, except among lunatics. So I 
hope things will go smoothly with him. 

(November 10.) I got so sleepy at this point 
of my letter last night, that I went to bed. May 
I whine and grumble for two minutes .'' I know I 
am a great baby, who can't bear the least thing 
without crying, but " 'tis my nature to," so please 
excuse ! Do you think, if I work like a nigger, 
that there will be anything artistically free and 
poetical in my playing ? I now, for the first time, 
begin to see so clearly my deficiency in this respect 
that it makes me awfully unhappy. I know that 
in most things the victory is half won when one 



1864] ROME 179 

sees one's weakness; but I am not at all sure 
whether that applies to this case. I know, for 
instance, lots of musicians who would be quite 
first-rate if they could only express, or give out, 
all that they have in them, and I fear that I may 
perhaps be one of these. If you can perfectly 
sincerely and conscientiously give me a word of 
encouragement about this, I wish you would. . . . 
I know we both agree in thinking that any other 
man [than Liszt] who had been placed in his 
quite exceptional position would have gone to the 
devil long ago. I am quite of your opinion that 
the more one knows him the more one adores 
him as a man and as a musician. Nothing can 
ever change him. He is always the same. 
Your most affectionate uncle, 

W. B. 

The following summer season was passed at the 
Bagni di Lucca, where he gave a successful concert, 
returning to Rome as soon as the weather was 
sufficiently cool. Here he soon settled down 
again for another winter ; and when Liszt had 
returned, and pupils began to come, nothing was 
wanting to make it a happy and successful season. 

Writing to his father on December 14 he 
says : — 

I am in a state of the greatest happiness just 
now, having had really a great success last night 
at a concert at the German Club : I played 
12 — 2 



i8o WALTER BACHE [1864 

Mendelssohn's G Minor Concerto and Liszt's 
Faust Waltz, and feel quite braced up to hard 
work. I think an occasional success is quite as 
necessary as an occasional discouragement, in order 
to keep up one's enthusiasm for work. I hardly 
see my way through this winter, as I have already 
sixteen lessons a week, and believe that several 
people who heard me at this concert will take 
lessons also : in addition to this, the evening parties 
have begun in full force, so that it is difficult to 
know what to do — also I have engaged to play at 
six matinees given by a violinist : this obliges me 
to work very hard at getting up pieces (chiefly 
ensemble pieces) and to attend a great many 
rehearsals, but it will be excellent in accustoming 
me to playing in public — the first of the matinees 
has already taken place and went off pretty well, 
though nothing extraordinary. The great piece 
of news is that Asantschewsky has come to spend 
the winter here : I like him more and more the 
more I know him ; in fact except Price and Mr. 
Ingram I have no such friend out of our family. 
. . . Liszt has been here this evening to give us 
our lesson — I have a sore thumb and could not 
play, but he played us his Fantasie and Fugue from 
the " Prophete," which I admire more and more. 

And, on December 31, he writes: — 

Asantschewsky and I are going to give three 
orchestral concerts here in Lent. Of course I 
could not afford such a thing, but he takes all the 



1864] ROME 181 

risk, and guarantees me 100 scudi — and I get the 
people to come, for he has no acquaintances here.^ 



To Mme. Laussot. 

Rome, 

December 20, 1864. 

Sgambati has been working very hard, and gave 
the first of his four chamber concerts the other 
day, when he played the Fantasia Cromatica 
magnificently. I had also a jolly success in my 
small way the other night at the German Club 
with the G Minor Mendelssohn Concerto and the 
grand Faust Waltz. I am most awfully tired 
tonight, but dare not let another day go by 
without writing to wish you a merry Christmas 
and a happy New Year, which I do with all my 
heart. 

My Russian friend Asantschewsky is here, 
which is most jolly: I like him more than ever, 
if that were possible. There is a wretched Russian 
who has taken the room next to me, and has got 
a grand piano on which he is now practising scales 
in thirds in contrary motion at a rate which fills 
my soul with envy. . . . 

There is really nothing else to tell you : Liszt 
is what he always is ; Ehlert ditto ; Frl. Stein has 
been ill for twelve days ; and that wretched 
Russian is going on like mad — but anyhow I 
have learned four new finger exercises from him 
since I began this letter. . . . 

1 Apparently these projected concerts did not take place. 



1 82 WALTER BACHE [1865 

A Birmingham paper, dated January 31, 1865, 
gives the subjoined : 

In a letter from Rome, published last week, 
we find the following paragraph relating to Mr. 
Walter Bache, son of the Rev. S. Bache of this 
town, and brother of the late Edward Bache, whose 
short musical career opened with great promise : — 

" We are having some charming parlour concerts, 
in which an English pupil of Liszt, Mr. Bache, 
takes a prominent part, and to my uneducated 
taste seems to justify the hope of an eminence in 
his art worthy of his master. Liszt has one other 
pupil, an Italian by the name of Sgambati, whose 
powers of execution are such that he must, it 
seems to me, become one of the famous pianists 
of the world." 

In March 1865 he gave his own concert. He 
had had great forebodings of non-success, but after 
it was over he wrote home : — 

Before going to bed I must just add a line to 
tell you of the complete success of my concert. 
Liszt was very much pleased indeed, and said a 
great many very kind things which have encouraged 
me immensely. 



1865] ROME 183 



To Mme, Laussot. 

Via dei Cappuccini, 6, 1™° piano, 
Rome, 

April if, 1865. 

I have just been reading through Liszt's Senate, 
which I heard him play about a month ago : and 
this makes me so naturally think of you that, 
though I ought to have been in bed hours ago, I 
can't help writing one line to say "how splendid" ; 
this is really all I have got to say. I am so glad 
to hear of Sgambati's success, and of the numerous 
conversions you are both making to the new 
faith. . . . 

Several things have decided me to try London 
this season, and I shall leave Rome at the end of 
April. It is a great risk, but I have really con- 
sidered well before undertaking it. . . . 

Could you let me have one line here before I 
leave, to give me your blessing, and tell me the 
name and address of the lady who introduced me 
to you, which, as you very properly remarked, 
was " not one of the worst things that had happened 
to me." 

Now good-bye, and once more, "isn't it 
splendid ?" 



VII 

LONDON 
1865 

TN the spring of this year, as intimated in the 
last letter, Walter Bache returned to London, 
which became his home for the rest of his life. 
His Italian life and experiences have been mainly 
given in his own letters ; but for the future there 
will be fewer of these to quote, because, being 
now in his own land, and but three hours' distance 
from his old home, they resolve themselves mostly 
into mere short notes, often undated, and not 
suitable for quoting. 

Nevertheless, the coming twenty years were 
far and away the most important — the years of 
deeds, not words. But the state of his mind, 
musically speaking, will have been plainly seen 
from the foregoing letters ; and to the reader of 
these pages therefore the independent musical 



1865] LONDON 185 

position he almost immediately took up in London 
will appear as but the natural outcome of what 
has gone before. But to musical London of that 
day it was about the same as though a mine had 
been suddenly sprung, or a bomb thrown into 
their midst by a subversive hand. At all costs 
the revolutionist must be suppressed: friends and 
foes alike felt this ; and Bache had not been long 
settled in London before the word " dangerous " 
was affixed to him. This he was made to feel 
pretty quickly. One of his first politic calls was 
on the mighty critic of the Times. He sent in 
his name, and the maid brought back word, 
" Please, sir, Mr. Davison says he's not at home."^ 
There is no harm in repeating the story now, 
when the two actors in it are long gone : it serves 
to show what he had to fight against ; for not 
only then, but every successive year till long, long 
afterwards, the critics as a body were what might 
be described as " not at home " to Bache. 

1 Mr. Hipkins adds the following remarks : "J. W. 
Davison had been very friendly to Edward, and took a keen 
interest in him. Walter was justified in calling on him from 
that circumstance. Edward had almost chummed with 
Davison, as far as a young man could, when he was domiciled 
with Mellon and his set, Pratten, Hausmann and the rest. 
Davison's opposition to Liszt and all new ideas set Walter 
bitterly against him. As to Davison not " being visible 
although at home, he rarely rose before 5 p.m. ! ... . Up 
to the present day, our important musical critics discoun- 
tenance any calls preliminary to public appearances." 



1 86 WALTER BACHE [1865 

He settled down at first in company with his 
old Milan friend, Signor Gustave Garcia ; and 
they at once set about preparations for a joint 
concert. He writes to Mme. Laussot : — 

May 17, 1865. 
Dear Granny, 

I am not at all in a humour for letter- 
writing, having just played a " tune " at a tea- 
fight while all the people were talking. But as I 
know that you are leaving Florence so soon, I 
will do my duty like a man (no offence to the 
ladies). People are so stupid — they won't take 
lessons, and my tin is going like a large snowball : 
but that is such a very old story that you must 
know it by heart ; so just refer to any one of the 
ten thousand letters which I or any other of your 
proteges (musicians) have written, and you will 
find my sentiments exactly expressed. What will 
do your heart good is to know what I am morally 
convinced of: namely, that there are two sides 
to the musical question in London. I confess 
that among the fashionable world it is a mere 
fashion and business — for instance, my tea-party 
tonight : but I am sure that a better class is 
springing up. I was at the last Monday Popular 
Concert, when for the first time the whole 
programme was made up of Schumann's works ; 
and the evident attention and delight with which 
the people in the shilling places listened to every 
note of it was most jolly : there was no mistaking 
it. . . . 



i86s] LONDON 187 

Mme. Schumann at the Monday Popular Concert 
was quite an event : until now they have not had 
any woman but Arabella.^ She had an enormous 
reception, and played magnificently ; also Joachim. 
The consequence is that even that slow-coach old 
Philharmonic^ has engaged Mme. Schumann for 
their next concert : she will play her husband's 
Concerto. Schumann at the Philharmonic is like 
" Pop goes the Weasel " in the Gewandhaus. . . . 
Garcia and I are hard at work for a matinee on 
July 4 (one has to prepare these things about a 
year beforehand) ; Dannreuther and 1 will play the 
Preludes!!!! first time on this side of the Channel. 
I hope we shan't lose any tin by it ; for though 
we need sell only sixteen tickets in order to cover 
our expenses, yet it is not so easy to find sixteen 
persons sufficiendy awake to a sense of their duty 
to fork out half a guinea. 

An undated letter to Mme. Laussot, presumably 
shortly after his first concert in July, contains the 
following : — 

I hope you are getting on all jolly and not 
working too hard. What do you mean by 
blowing me up so hard ? I have not missed four 
engagements all the summer, so you must have 
been dreaming. 

Callander is a very nice fellow : we went to 
"Fidelio" and " L'Africaine " together, but that is 

1 Mme. Arabella Goddard. 

2 The Philharmonic in those days was very conservative, 
and not exactly in the van of progress. 



1 88 WALTER BACHE [1865 

all that we have seen of each other. He came to my 
concert, and just heard me play the Trio abomin- 
ably, and then went away again : but afterwards I 
warmed up, and got jolly notices in the papers : 
since then I played at the Beethoven Society, and 
got most blazing notices (regularly brilliant) in 
five or six papers. Also I have played in lots of 
little concerts and always get encored : you see I 
must boast if you blow me up so awfully. People 
are so stupid : they won't take lessons, confound 
them : so that now all my money is gone except 
about ;^io : but perhaps I am going on a tour 
with a little opera company, so that I shall get 
several pounds by that: I have got an organist- 
ship for j^40 a year. All the people (except the 
newspaper ones) were delighted with " Les 
Preludes " : in a few years when I have tin enough 
I shall have an orchestral concert, and then. . . . 
But really there are several sensible people in 
London: I have played the " Ideale," "Tasso" 
and "Preludes" with Cusins,^ who was delighted 
with them : and I have made a good many conver- 
sions among the amateurs : at least six people are 
absolutely wild about that Mignon's song,^ etc. 
So that I shall go on pitching into them. I was 
afraid at first that living in London might rather 
demoralize me : but I find that I come out of 
every argument hotter than ever for Liszt and 
Wagner. 

1 Sir William George Cusins, 1 833-1 893 ; organist of the 
Queen's private chapel ; composer and conductor. 

2 Liszt's " Mignon." 



1865] LONDON 189 

The AthencBum of July 8, commenting on this 
concert, said : — 

On Tuesday, M. Gustave Garcia, one of the 
best of rising baritones, and Mr. Walter Bache 
gave a concert in company. We cannot think 
" Les Preludes," a very difficult duett by the 
Abbe Liszt for two pianofortes, worth the labour 
bestowed on it by a couple of players so skilled as 
himself and Mr. Dannreuther, It was well 
received however. 

To Mme Laussot. 

32, Grafton Street East, 
Gower Street, 

December 28, 1865. 

I have just had a good breakfast, have lots of 
baccy and nothing to do, so I will write you a 
letter with a vengeance. The only difficulty is 
one feels so awfully inclined to begin sending 
messages and love to different people, and I 
might write a volume in that way, and without 
saying a word that was not perfecdy true. But 
will you tell dear Nino^ that my only reason for 
answering your jolly letter (just received) before 
his (received 3^ months ago) is that yours is just 
now fresh before me like hot muffins (excuse my 
poetical simile), whereas I have rather forgotten 
what there was in his. Also I am sorry to say 
that my Italian is getting awfully rotten ; — but 
tell him that I think of him daily, and have 

1 " Giovannino " Sgambati. 



I90 WALTER BACHE [1865 

already begun two letters to him, but been 
interrupted : I will write soon, and when I have 
time enough to come to Rome I hope he wiU 
take me under his protection, to give me all the 
guiding which I can't get from Maesta.^ . . . 

I have already played the Dante Symphony 
once with an English pianist named Frood, and 
have got two more fellows on my books to play it 
with. I really have quite a little Kreis of Liszt 
admirers around me, and really find life tolerably 
endurable ; but London is an awful place for an 
artist, and I feel it already, though I still try 
against the Handwerkeret^ (excuse bad German). 
I do hope and trust you will come to London 
next summer, just to blow me up and encourage 
me a little if you can. . . . 

At the Crystal Palace they have promised for 
six months to let me play : you know I have 
set my heart on the Schubert Fantasie (new here 
in Liszt's Bearbeitung), and yesterday Manns^ 
promised to let me rehearse it towards the end of 
January : some duffers have been telling him that 
the orchestra is too heavy, etc., for the piano: 
now if only I can forget myself, and think of 
Maesta and Nino and you, I will just make those 
duffers jolly well ashamed of themselves, and 
show them the difference between a " refined 
classical player " (anglice a wooden-headed brute) 

1 Liszt. 

^ Meaning music as a trade instead of an art. 
' Mr. August Manns, the pre-eminent conductor of the 
Crystal Palace concerts for forty-five years. 



1866] LONDON 191 

and a pupil of Liszt. Manns is very clever, and 
will certainly let me play it in one of the concerts 
if only I make it effective. Manns is really the 
one conductor here who has something poetical 
about him : I admire him very much, although 
he considers it his duty to talk in the usual style 
about Liszt and Wagner :^ but perhaps we 
should have done the same if we had been born 
second fiddles in an orchestra, and had to make 
our way for ourselves without any help from 
above. Manns has done an immense deal for 
music in London. . . . 

The contemplated performance did not come 
off in 1866 at all ; for, doubtless on account of 
his heretical musical opinions, the much coveted 
" first appearance at the Crystal Palace," so dear 
to every debutant, was not offered to Bache until 
many years later ; and when at last the prize was 
put within his reach he begged permission to 
delegate it to someone else whom he was at that 
time striving to help on. However, eleven years 
later (in 1877) he remarked on a post-card to his 
friend in Florence, "On February 10 I played 
Liszt-Schubert Fantasie at Crystal' Palace with 
capital success," 

Early in 1866 an interesting musical event took 
place in Paris, in a performance of Liszt's "Graner 

1 The reader is reminded that this was thirty-six years 
ago. 



192 WALTER BACHE [1866 

Messe," a Mass written for the church of Gran, in 
Hungary. Bache went over for this, and gave a 
vivid picture in the following : — 

To Mme. Laussot. 

Paris, 

March 17, 1866. 

I should have sent you a letter full of marks of 
admiration and exclamations if I had written an 
hour sooner ; but now I have become rather 
sleepy after all my excitement, so that 1 shall be 
more matter of fact. I did borrow some tin to 
come here, and am staying with Asantschewsky, 
whom I like better than ever, and who has made 
enormous progress in composition : you will be 
delighted with some of his things : he is now 
married and his wife is really charming. 

I arrived just in time to hear the "Graner Messe." 
I won't talk about the music itself, because you ' 
know what I think of it, and I have promised to 
be matter of fact. The execution was tolerable : 
unfortunately there were no women's voices in the 
chorus, so that the accents, etc., were not given 
with much vigour : the orchestra and chorus were 
unfortunately not raised, which of course lessened 
the efFect in so vast a church. The church was 
crammed, and a large sum realized ; tickets ten 
and twenty francs : just fancy, there was a detach- 
ment of soldiers in the church, and occasionally 
during the music the officer gave the word of 
command at the top of his voice ! during the 



1866] LONDON 193 

Sanctus the drummer performed an obbligato ! 
Can you believe me? Before the Mass we had 
several polkas played by the military band, and 
the Mendelssohn Wedding March badly played 
on the organ ! ! (One of the papers said that Liszt 
did it.) Directly after the last notes of the Agnus 
Dei, orchestra and chorus began some other piece 
belonging to the service in a Donizetti style, all 
the people believing that it was by Liszt ! During 
the music, lady patronesses came round rattling 
money boxes, and upsetting chairs with their 
crinolines ! The audience was just like the one at 
the Palazzo Barberini. 

In spite of all this, the whole affair was a great 
event and immense pleasure to several people ; 
and nobody talks of anyone but Liszt at present. 
I must really cut my story short. I saw him 
twice yesterday. / cant tell you how kind and 
delightful he was — I shall never forget it as long 
as I live. He commissioned me to write to you 
about it, and to beg you to communicate it to the 
Princess (I think he said the Princess), as he had 
not time to write. Today he came to breakfast 
here ; I can't find adjectives enough to tell you 
how divine he was : he played so splendidly ; 
Mme. Asantschewsky is quite ill from the excite- 
ment. He has received offers from three or four 
different sides for executions of his works here 
and elsewhere : at present it seems not quite 
certain what he will do. It seemed to me today 
as if I had never heard him before — it was some- 
thing entirely new for me. 

13 



194 WALTER BACHE [1866 

I go back to London tomorrow, as I have to 
play in four concerts next week. 

In a letter to his sister, he says : — 

I saw Mr. Mellon yesterday, and spent some 
time with him and his wife. I like him more every 
time I see him, and I think he will perhaps let me 
play at his concerts in the autumn, if he can 
manage it : but it is really a work of time in 
London : it is now more than half a year since 
they promised to let me play at the Crystal Palace, 
and I still see no chance of it. 

Mr. Mellon, who extended to Walter Bache 
the love and kindness he had borne to Edward, 
was as good as his word. Writing to his father 
on November 9, 1866, Walter said: — 

I am taking holiday from my old school today, 
as I am to play for the first time at Covent Garden 
tonight, and could not possibly teach all day. I 
am very anxious about it, as Mr. Mellon has taken 
me quite from hearsay, and if I don't have good 
success will never give me another chance. 

On November 20 he added : — 

I got on very well at Mellon's, being recalled, 
but I don't think the piece pleased. 

The newspaper report said : " On Friday last 
Mr. Walter Bache made his first appearance at 
these concerts, and achieved a genuine success." 



186/] LONDON 195 

On May 23, 1867, he and Garcia gave a second 
joint concert, at Collard's Rooms in Grosvenor 
Street. Several items of this concert call for 
special notice : the Prayer, the Septuor, and the 
March for men's voices from "Tannhauser," at that 
period a great innovation ; and the first perform- 
ance in England of Liszt's " Ideale," arranged for 
two pianos, and played by Bache and his friend 
Mr. Frits Hartvigson.^ 

Among those who took part in the Septuor, 
one name must be singled out. M. de Fontanier, 
who took the part of Biterolf on this occasion, and 
of Wolfram at the concert of 1870, was one of 
Bache's closest friends. In 1868 they went 
together to Munich for the performance of 
" Rheingold " (not, however, a successful one) ; 
and the tie between them was never broken, nor 
even relaxed, until Bache's death in 1888. 

The " Tannhauser " Septuor was repeated " by 
desire " at his third concert the following May. 
From this date onwards the concerts were given 
by himself alone, not in conjunction with any 
other artist ; and this one took place in the now 
defunct Beethoven Rooms in Harley Street. Two 
criticisms may here be recorded. The first, from 



1 Mr. Frits Hartvigson, eminent pianist in London ; pupil 
of Billow ; Professor at the Royal Academy of Music. 

13—2 



196 WALTER BACHE [1867 

the Sunday Times, referring to the "Tannhauser " 
Septuor, says : — 

Wagner has, unfortunately, carried some good 
ideas to the point of absurdity, but this Septuor 
demonstrates that, when he likes, he can write 
the music of the present with no mean power. It 
would have been better for himself, and certainly 
better for the art, had he left the future to take 
care of itself, and form its own school. 

It was once said that " the children of this 
world are in their generation wiser than the 
children of light." 

The other remarks, from the Athencsum a few 
days before the concert, are as follows : — 

Those who have desire to make acquaintance 
with the music of the future have an opportunity 
at hand in the concert of Mr. Walter Bache, which 
will take place on the 22nd. The programme is 
somewhat of a curiosity. The enthusiasm of its 
writer will be understood when we say that he 
considers the Abbe Liszt's Mephisto-Walzer, 
founded, not on Goethe's but crazy Lenau's 
" Faust," as " simple, consistent and well-propor- 
tioned in plan as any sonata by Clementi." If this 
be so (which we cannot bring ourselves to admit, 
knowing the composition well), those interesting 
themselves in such combinations as are here to be 
round may betake themselves to school, and study 
the symmetry of ugliness. No nobler-hearted 



186;] LONDON 197 

nor more free-handed man than the Abbe Liszt 
exists : no artist fuller of gracious remembrances 
of his inferiors ; no player on his instrument to 
compare with him as to memory, brilliancy, con- 
summate accomplishment. It is an honour and a 
privilege (as Mr. Bache has obviously felt) to have 
been conversant with such a man of genius. But, 
putting these truths on record for the last time, it 
must be also said that no special gifts, no personal 
fascinations, can transform bad into good music. 

It was in the summer of this year that a small 
musical society was started which, strictly private 
though it was, may be said to have formed the 
nucleus of the later development and diffusion of 
Wagner's work in England. Not that it was 
originally so intended, but just as " We little know 
what great events from little causes rise," so there 
is no doubt that the simple meetings of a few 
musicians to play to, and to criticise, one another, 
led much further afield than was at first dreamt of. 

The members were Messrs. Karl Klindworth,^ 
Edward Dannreuther,^ Frits Hartvigson and 

1 Herr Karl Klindworth, a favourite pupil of Liszt ; 
eminent Professor and pianist ; formerly in London ; next in 
Moscow, where he was Professor in Nicholas Rubinstein's 
Conservatorium : at the present time in Berlin, where he is 
Director of the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatorium ; 
pre-eminent for his editions of Bach, Mendelssohn, Chopin, 
etc., which now rank as classics, and above all for his piano- 
forte arrangements of Wagner's " Nibelungen Lied." 

^ Mr. Edward Dannreuther, eminent pianist and musical 
writer in London ; Professor at the Royal College of Music. 



198 WALTER BACHE [1867 

Walter Bache, with Mr. A. J. Hipkins as "lay 
member," occasionally assisted by Mr. Kiimpel 
the artist, who was also a singer. They dubbed 
themselves "The Working Men's Society," and 
for two years they met, almost weekly, at each 
other's houses alternately. All at that time were 
concert-players or concert-givers ; and it must 
therefore have been no small ordeal to have to 
face one another's criticisms, knowing only too 
well how the weak point in each would be 
" spotted " by the others. Karl Klindworth alone, 
on account of his more respected years, was exempt 
from criticism. He " fathered " the meetings, 
and from him in particular came that impetus for 
Wagner, mentioned above. 

From the report of the weekly meetings,^ a few 
examples are culled, in illustration of these 
remarks. Thus : 

December 6, 1867, at Klindworth's, Mr. Dann- 
reuther led off the Wagner campaign with Liszt's 
Spinnerlied from " Der Fliegende Hollander " : 
whilst on 

January 18, 1868 (also at Klindworth's), Mr. 
Klindworth began, with the .first two scenes from 
" Rheingold," those readings from Wagner which 
formed so important a feature of these meetings. 
When " Rheingold " had been completed (in 

1 Mr. Hipkins kept a private memorandum of these, from 
which, by his kind permission, the following extracts are made. 



1867] LONDON 199 

four scenes) the "Walkiire" was next taken in 
hand. 

March 6, 1868, at Hartvigson's, Bache played 
Liszt's transcription of the " Tannhauser " March. 

June 20, 1868, at Bache's, Mr. Klindworth 
gave a portion of " Tristan." 

July 4, 1868, at Dannreuther's, Mr. Dann- 
reuther played a considerable portion of the 
" Meistersinger," and Mr. KUmpel sang Walther's 
Lied from the same. 

July 3, 1869, Miss Anna Mehlig^ played Liszt's 
E flat Concerto at Bache's. 

It must not be imagined, from the above 
extracts, that Wagner and Liszt were chosen to 
the exclusion of other composers. On the con- 
trary, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Hen- 
selt. Raff, Rubinstein, Gade, Biilow and others 
were included in the programmes. But the chief 
point of interest, in recalling these meetings of 
the "Working Men's Society," lies in the quiet 
unobtrusive propaganda they made for Wagner. 
At the present time, when Wagner forms the 
staple pabulum of a large proportion of the concert 
programmes, and when even Liszt is allowed to 
"play the people out," it is hard to realize the 
difficulties and the oppositions of those early days. 

1 Miss Anna Mehlig (now Mme. Falk-Mehlig) ; a dis- 
tinguished pianist, at that time well known to the London 
public. 



200 WALTER BACHE [1867 

In this connection a few lines are therefore quoted 
from a contemporary writer.^ In a charming 
biographical notice of Mr. Hipkins, Mr. Edwards 
writes : — 

It is interesting to learn that Mr. Hipkins 
was one of the earliest disciples of Wagner in 
London. He became attached to the cult in 
1866, not from admiration — that came later and 
is now a passion — but from the feeling that 
Wagner was being condemned in England un- 
heard. A photographic group, taken in 1868, 
shows the few adherents Wagner then had in 
London. Karl Klindworth, then busy with the 
pianoforte score of the " Nibelungen Ring," and 
who had been playing extracts from it week by 
week to Walter Bache, Edward Dannreuther, 
Frits Hartvigson, the painter Kiimpel, and " Hip," 
as his friends called the subject of this biographical 
sketch — these six enthusiasts form the friendly 
circle represented in the photograph. Except for 
Praeger, who fought alone, there was no one else 
to champion Wagner's cause. 

The last entry in the little private register, from 
which quotations have been freely made, is as 
follows : — 

July 23, 1870. An opera by Wagner was, for 
the first time, played in England — " Der Fliegende 

1 "Alfred James Hipkins," by F. G. Edwards. Published 
in the Musical Times of September, 1898. 




o 
o 






o 



186;] LONDON 



20I 



Hollander" at Drury Lane (in Italian). Senta, 
lima de Murska, the Dutchman, Santley. Con- 
ductor, Arditi. 

Writing to his sister, just before this event, 
Bache said : — 

Next Saturday will be the first performance of 
a Wagner opera ever given in England ! " Der 
Fliegende Hollander." I am sorry it is given so 
late in the season, as it can be given only twice, 
and it is not likely that this company will exist 
next year. So there is every chance of a fiasco 
owing to a bad performance ; and if there be a 
success it can't make enough stir in London to 
force the Press to acknowledge it. 

The last sentence is significant, as pointing to 
the uphill road Wagner has had to tread in 
England. 



An event of unusual interest took place this 
summer. A letter from Mme. Laussot states it 
as follows : — 

July 24, 1867. 

My dear Uncle Bache, 

I write to inform you that I am in Ger- 
many, and that a great Tonkunstler-Versammlung 
takes place at Meiningen during four days in 
August — 22nd to 25th inclusive — under Liszt's 
presidency ; that Sgambati makes his debut then 



202 WALTER BACHE [1867 

and there ; that on August 28 Liszt's "St. EHza- 
beth " will be performed in the Wartburg at 
Eisenach under the composer's own direction. 
Matthews, Callander, Miss Stein (now at Dres- 
den) and I are bound for it. . . . 

Will you just send me a line as quick as possible 
and tell me whether you are likely to come. 
Liszt is going to send you some music ; he told 
me to tell you so, and to " greet " you from him. 
He hopes and expects to see you. Tell me 
whether in passing you will pick me up. . . . 
Yours, in haste, affectionately, 

Grandmother. 

Of course such news was like the magnet to the 
needle, and such a chance was not to be resisted. 
Bache joined the group of Liszt-devotees who 
met there, the special interest of the occasion being 
firstly that the performance was to be given on 
the very spot which the Oratorio illustrates ; and 
secondly that Liszt was to be the conductor. He 
himself, writing shortly before that time to his 
cousin Eduard Liszt, remarked : — 

Towards the end of July I shall go to Weimar. 
The "Wartburg Festival " is fixed for August 28. 
On that day the " Elizabeth " will be heard in the 
hall of the Minnesingers. A fortnight before that 
the concerts of the TonkUnstler-Versammlung will 
take place at Meiningen. 

The Meiningen Festival was a brilliant affair 



186;] LONDON 203 

from the musical point of view. Amongst the 
works of foremost interest were : — Liszt's sacred 
work, "Die Seligkeiten "; his Symphonic Poem, 
" Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne"; and the 
song of "Die drei Zigeuner"; Berlioz's scenes 
from "Romeo and Juliet," and from " Much Ado 
about Nothing"; Robert Volkmann's "Sappho" 
for soprano solo ; Billow's Symphonic Tone-poem 
"Nirwana"; Schumann's Song-cycle " Spanisches 
Liederspiel " ; a Symphony by Lassen, etc. 

During the stay at Meiningen, Liszt had 
promised to play at somebody's private house : 
" I cannot invite you there," he said to his musical 
friends, " but I will put the window open, and you 
will hear every bit as well outside." So all the 
friends assembled outside the house where he was 
going to play, and there was a large gathering 
beneath the open window. They waited after- 
wards to greet him when he came out ; and one 
of the company proposed that they should all lie 
down on the ground for Liszt to walk over them, 
in token of their musical subjection to him! 

Close upon the heels of this Festival followed 
the equally memorable " St. Elizabeth " perform- 
ance at the Wartburg, the 6clat and grandeur of 
which none who were present on that occasion 
could ever forget. Many, if not most, of the 
artists who had taken part in the Meiningen 



204 WALTER BACHE [1868 

Festival remained for the Eisenach one, given in 
" commemoration of the eighth centenary of the 
founding, and in honour of the restoration, then 
just completed, of that remarkable and historically 
interesting relic of the Middle Ages " (the Wart- 
burg). 

In the spring of 1868, while the meetings of 
the " Working Men's Society " were in full swing, 
came Bache's fourth annual concert, on which occa- 
sion he and Mr. Klindworth played two of Liszt's 
Symphonic Poems, " Orpheus " and " Mazeppa," 
arranged for two pianos. The following year 
Messrs. Dannreuther and Hartvigson played the 
" Preludes," similarly arranged, at Bache's fifth 
concert. Thus, each year, small beginnings were 
made, preparing the way for the orchestral per- 
formances of these works later on. 

In 1 8 7 1 began Bache's orchestral concerts, and 
from this time onwards he continued them for the 
rest of his life, with only such occasional inter- 
mission as was rendered necessary by the enormous 
drain upon his personal resources. It must be 
remembered that these concerts were in no way 
subsidized, but were undertaken at his own 
expense, with the sole object of making his 
Master's music known in England. This extreme 
single-mindedness — and an entire absence of that 
professional jealousy with which, alas, the musical 



i87i] LONDON 205 

profession is so often accredited — led him to put 
himself aside on every possible occasion where 
there was anyone else who, he thought, could 
interpret the music better. Thus, one year it 
would be Billow at the conductor's desk ; another 
year, Manns ; another year, Dannreuther ; and 
so on. Of this, more in its place. 

It must not be imagined, however, that all was 
plain sailing for Bache, even apart from the concert- 
giving. London is a cruel stepmother to those 
who don't succeed, flowery and golden as are her 
paths to those who do. And there was a period 
when he found it so impossible to make both ends 
meet that he had serious thoughts of going off to 
India, and probably he would have done so, had 
he not felt that, musically, it would be an abso- 
lutely suicidal act. 

Being extremely anxious to have some musical 
intercourse with Biilow, in the summer of 1871 he 
went to Florence for this purpose. He writes 
thence : — 

To HIS Father. 

Borgo San Frediano, No. 10, 

August 2, 1 87 1. 

I arrived here on Monday after a most pleasant 
journey. I stayed one day in Paris, where I 
visited several places of interest, and saw many of 
the public buildings which have been burnt during 



2o6 WALTER BACHE [1871 

the late disturbances^ — a most sad sight, I can 
assure you. My journey from Paris to Florence 
was considerably longer than I had anticipated ; 
in one place the railroad had been inundated and it 
was necessary to walk for some distance ; and the 
trains corresponded badly, which obliged me to 
sleep two nights on the road. But I arrived here 
on Monday morning and at once made my visit 
to Herr von Biilow, the celebrated pianist whom 
I have so long wished to see. He received me 
with the greatest kindness imaginable, and I have 
been so fortunate as to find a beautiful lodging 
and a pretty good piano in the very house in which 
he lives. He allows me to spend a part of every 
morning with him, plays to me and hears me play ; 
in the evening we dine together, and I remain with 
him until bedtime. I had not ventured to hope 
for so much good fortune, and I am sure it will 
be of the greatest subsequent advantage to me. 

(August 3.) I had written so far at 9 a.m. 
yesterday, when I was summoned to go to Herr 
von Biilow, with whom I remained until three 
o'clock, when we went out together. The six hours 
passed away like so many minutes ; it is useless 
to attempt to describe them, but they are certainly 
six of the happiest ones I have ever spent. 

I have not yet seen any of the pictures, statues 
and churches with which this beautiful town 
abounds, but I intend to pay my first visit to one 
of the principal picture-galleries today, and must 

1 The Franco-German War and insurrection of the 
Commune. 




THE THREE B'S 

j; SHAKI', l; I'l.AI AM) 11 NATURAL 



1872] LONDON 207 

try to see something or other every day. The 
only difficulty is the heat, with its accompaniment 
of flies : mornings and evenings are more beauti- 
ful than you can imagine ; and the rooms of these 
thick-walled houses, as also the narrow and shady 
streets, never become unpleasantly warm. So that 
the heat is (as far as I am concerned) no more 
trying than it is in England. But it is most un- 
pleasant and unadvisable to pass over any unpro- 
tected (i.e., unshaded) square or bridge between 
9 a.m, and 6 p.m. . . . All the natural and 
artificial beauties of the country strike me ten 
times more forcibly now than was the case six 
years ago, when I lived in Italy, and had not the 
unpicturesque contrast of London life so clearly 
before me. 

His second orchestral concert in March 1872, 
included Liszt's two Symphonic Poems, namely, 
"Les Preludes" (repeated by desire), and the 
" Festklange " for the first time ; and he had the 
valuable co-operation of Mr. Manns on this 
occasion. His own criticism of the concert is 
embodied in the following hasty note to his sister 
on the day after it : — 

Dear Maggie, 

The concert was a success ; how far, I can't 
yet judge, as the giver of the concert always comes 
in for a lot of compliments and applause even if 
he play ever so badly. But the two symphonies 
went well, though much more might have been 



2o8 WALTER BACHE [1872 

done to them by additional rehearsal : all my 
friends (Deichmann, Wiener/ Daubert,^ etc.) most 
kind. The piano playing was good, I think, but 
not quite my very best. Welch's pupiP a decided 
success, Manns very kind. 

To Mme. Laussot. 

58, Great Russell Street, 
Bedford Square, 

June 10, 1872. 

Very many thanks for your most welcome 
letter ; it was indeed time that you should think 
of this here child, but he knows how little time 
you have for letter-writing. Now look here ! it 
is quite impossible for me to leave London earlier 
than July 20, or even perhaps a few days later. 
I have explained all my reasons to Callander, and 
so won't repeat them — (Callander is an out-and- 
out brick : ask him to tell you of his good action 
towards me :) and I suppose all music will be 
over by then. So I have half made up my mind 
to stay in London during the six weeks' vacation, 
and practise like a Trojan. I must economize 
every farthing, as I have hardly paid the debts of 
my last concert (deficit of more than j^ioo), and 
next year I want to give my concert in St. James's 
Hall, with orchestra of 80, and chorus of 200 at 
least, in order to do the Thirteenth Psalm and the 

1 Wilhelm Wiener, 1838-1895 ; distinguished London 
violinist and Professor. 

2 Hugo Daubert, a well-known London violoncellist. 
^ Miss Abbie Whinery. 



1872] LONDON 209 

Schnitterchor from " Prometheus " ;i perhaps the 
Schumann Concerto and the Huldigungsmarsch 
of Wagner : the two last are doubtful. I must 
prepare for a loss of £100, so you see I have to 
think of it now, and must teach all the young 
women I can possibly collar, so as to turn their 
guineas into fiddles and singers. The great thing 
is to go piano and sano. The "Preludes" has 
been a great success ; I never thought the "Fest- 
klange " a good choice for England, but Biilow 
would have it. Next year, you see, I choose for 
myself, and I think you must say that the selec- 
tion is good. 

Tomorrow night Hartvigson plays Liszt's E flat 
Concerto at the Philharmonic, and he plays it 
magnificently. It will be the third (and probably 
best) performance in London. Dannreuther and 
" your uncle " have already played it. 

Many thanks for all the news of Biilow : please 
try to give him ray most affectionate and respect- 
ful good wishes. I still hope to see him in 
October, if the American project holds good : for 
his sake I almost wish it could be abandoned ; it 
will nearly be the death of him. 

Halle gave "Les Preludes " twice last winter in 
Manchester with tremendous success, and I think 
will do it again, 

I wish I could tell you that I had made a very 
decided step forward as a pianist during the last few 
years : some slight progress there has been, but I 
must still look forward to get over this infernal 

1 Both by Liszt. 
14 



2IO WALTER BACHE [1872 

namby-pamby milk-and-water business. I think 
I 'have the right stufF in me, but don't seem able 
to bring it out ; and of course the quantity ot 
teaching which must be done if I am to continue 
the Liszt propaganda, which I will, by Jove, is 
very unfavourable to self-improvement. Well, 
my dear old grandmother, don't wait till I am 
dead to write again, but do once in a year send 
me a line to cheer me up. 

In August began the rehearsals, at Munich, for 
a repetition under Dr. von Biilow of "Tristan 
und Isolde," the first performance of which had 
been given there in 1865. At this, of course, 
Wagner's warm, if few, English adherents mustered 
in full force, and, in spite of monetary difficulties 
referred to in the last letter, Bache was amongst 
the number. 

Writing to his father on the evening of 
August 17, 1872, he says: — 

I should have written this morning, but was 
obliged to go out very early to the rehearsal of 
Wagner's great opera of "Tristan und Isolde." 
The rehearsal lasted five hours, and has so much 
exhausted me that I am quite unfit for anything : 
the performance will take place tomorrow evening. 
The hearing of this music has been really one of 
the greatest events of my life, and I am truly 
thankful that I did not let this opportunity slip. 



1872] LONDON 211 

The Munich opera offered a rich treat during 
these holiday weeks ; for, in addition to "Tristan," 
"Lohengrin," "Tannhauser," and "Der Fliegende 
Hollander" were also given, besides "Fidelio," 
" Der Freischutz " and other works. On Septem- 
ber 6 Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" was given, 
with Balow's incidental music. 

On August 24 Btllow gave a concert for the 
benefit of the Bayreuth scheme. On this occa- 
sion Mr. Frits Hartvigson played Weber's Con- 
certsttlck with orchestra at Balow's special request. 
Bache, writing home, said : — 

My friend Hartvigson played with very great 
and very well-deserved success. I think it was 
the best concert at which I have ever been present. 

After his return he writes to his sister in the 
early autumn : — 

58, Great Russell Street, 
Thursday. 

Dearest Maggie, 

"We have had a most splendid visit to 
Munich — Liszt lived in the same hotel and I saw 
him every day, and can say " Now lettest Thou 
Thy servant ..." I have been so tremendously 
anxious to see him once more. He was exactly 
the same as ever, only perhaps a little aged and 
saddened ; he has had great trials lately. 

The " Rheingold " was not performed. The 
singers were not ready with their parts: they 
14 — 2 



212 WALTER BACHE [1872 

could sing the notes, but had no further idea of it. 
The machinery and decorations were ridiculous : 
they would do better at the Theatre Royal, 
Birmingham. It is a sad thing altogether, as 
Wagner's few friends are making the best use of 
their opportunity, and the newspapers are swarm- 
ing with lies of every possible shade of malice and 
stupidity. 

I have one splendid likeness of Liszt, which he 
gave me ; and have ordered two others which 
Hartvigson will bring in October. It was such a 
thing to see Klindworth again ; Moscow is not 
the place for him ; I fear he is very miserable 
there, but he all the more enjoyed being with us 
once more. Liszt was very much pleased to see 
him again. Liszt has promised me an invitation 
to Hungary next summer. He will visit a friend 
of his there, and take one or two people with 
him.^ 

Sgambati was also in Munich, Rubinstein, 
Henselt, Mme. Viardot, Joachim, besides a lot 
of duffers from London. I did hear two 
rehearsals of the " Rheingold." So that, even as far 
as that went, I was well repaid for my visit. 

The projected orchestral concert took place in 
February 1873, when all the works were given 
which he had contemplated bringing forward : 
namely, Liszt's Thirteenth Psalm and the chorus 

1 This visit, apparently however, took place in the earlier 
part of 1873, and not in the summer at all, and Bache was 
not of the party. 



1873] LONDON , 213 

of Reapers from " Prometheus," the Schumann 
Concerto, and Wagner's Huldigungsmarsch. Mr. 
Manns and Bache shared the duties of conductor. 
One of the papers, commenting on this concert, 
said : — 

Mr. Bache deserves the thanks of all who are 
interested in the music of the new German school 
— even of those who are adverse — for the oppor- 
tunity afforded by him of hearing specimens of it 
which have otherwise been ignored here. 

Another wrote as follows : — 

The Psalm exhibits all Liszt's peculiarities, 
his extraordinary contempt of harmony, and the 
multitudinous changes of key on every fifth or 
sixth note, which make its performance, by an 
ordinary choir, almost an impossibility. The 
bolus (taken before the medicine this time) was 
afforded by a wondrous performance, from 
memory, of Schumann's Concerto in A (Op. 54), 
the pianoforte solos by the beneficiaire. Mr. Bache 
made light of all difficulties ; and his magnificent 
rendering of the third allegro vivace movement, 
malgri its peculiarities of time and accent, gained 
him well-merited applause, and showed, should 
the talented young musician ever follow the beaten 
track of the old masters, instead of lingering 
among the vagaries of Liszt and Wagner, how 
brilliant might be his future. 



214 WALTER BACHE [1873 

To Mme. Laussot. 

58, Great Russell Street, 
Bedford Square, 

April ^(), 1873. 

Excuse a very hurried notice ; it must be that 
or none at all. Biilow is pretty well, though still 
knocked up and suffering from a cold : most kind 
and charming towards me, delighted with Broad- 
wood, and the beef and the bitter beer. . . . 
He had the greatest possible success at the Phil- 
harmonic — a magnificent reception — and three 
recalls after the Beethoven E flat Concerto, which 
he of course played splendidly, and as correctly as 
ever Thalberg played. It was just a little cold (!): 
he was in a rage about something. In the second 
part, however, he played the Fantasia Cromatica 
superbly — his very best : and the effect was magical : 
the public was the reverse of stupid, I can assure 
you ; three recalls, and then they made him play 
again — a Passepied of Bach. Some critics will be 
hostile and some favourable, but he has taken a 
complete hold of the public, so they may write 
what they like. He will play' Henselt's and 
Rubinstein's (third) Concertos. Perhaps Liszt's 
E flat, and will give two Recitals in St. James's 
Hall : other things may turn up. He is playing 
better than I ever heard, and everyone agrees that 
no such playing has been heard in London. He 
will play at the Wagner concert (Beethoven's 
E flat Variations) and conduct Tristan Vor- and 
Nach-spiel. Here endeth the present lesson. . . . 

O if I could consult you! I lost ;^I70 by my 



1873] LONDON 215 

last concert. ... I am up to the ears in debt, 
and have to teach from morning to night : if this 
goes on I shall not make a first-rate pianist, as I 
think to a certain extent I might. Biilow insists 
that I should give up the idea of repeating the 
Liszt Psalm next year ; give a concert on a much 
smaller scale, and get more time for practice. I 
begin to think he is right, but have not yet come 
to any decision. 

As regards Liszt's music I feel quite selbststdndig. 
I see the truth of much that BqIow says, and am 
thankful to him for helping me to clear my judg- 
ment : but then I go home, take down the " Graner 
Messe," for instance, and " die Erde hat mich 
wieder." There is no resisting the Liszt grandeur 
of conception, even though it be frequently mixed 
up with much that might have been better. But 
this is not the question : I must decide whether I 
shall sacrifice myself entirely to the production of 
Liszt's orchestral and choral works (which after all 
can never be immortal as Bach, Beethoven and 
Wagner : here I feel that Bulow is right). Or 
shall I make my own improvement the object of 
my life, and not spend a third of my income in 
one evening .'' Of course I shall never be untrue 
to ' Liszt ; but I feel rather disinclined to repeat 
the Psalm next year, and almost think of a concert 
with small orchestra: "Orpheus," " Festklange," 
etc. If you have any decided view on the subject 
let me know ; otherwise don't write. . . . 

I am so thankful to give you such a glorious 
account of Btilow. 



21 6 WALTER BACHE [1873 

Bache took advantage of Billow's presence in 
England this autumn to give his annual orchestral 
concert in November, instead of waiting till the 
following year. The programme included two of 
Liszt's " Poemes Symphoniques " for orchestra, 
namely " Tasso " and " Orpheus " ; the same 
master's March " Vom Fels zum Meer " ; the 
scene of " Isolde's death," now so familiar, but at 
that time new to English audiences ; in the words 
of the programme, it was " repeated at the desire of 
many who heard the first performance in England 
(under Herr von Billow's direction) at the 
Wagner Society's Concert, May 9, 1873." In 
addition to the above, there was the Schubert 
P. F. Fantasia orchestrated by Liszt, now 
frequendy heard, but then almost unknown, and 
played on this occasion by the concert-giver. 

Two or three sentences from a critique of 
this concert in the Monthly Musical Record for 
January, 1874, serve to show the gradually turning 
tide of public opinion in regard to the vexed 
question of the " Music of the Future." 

Ever since Mr. Bache returned, nine years 
ago, from his tutelage under Liszt, it has been his 
principal aim to advance his master's claims, as 
well as those of one or two other composers, who, 
till the institution of the Wagner Society, seemed 
in danger of being altogether overlooked by other 



1874] LONDON 217 

concert-givers. By degrees, musicians have come 
to regard Mr. Bache's annual concert as one of the 
most important of the season, and certainly unique 
in its character. . . . To the selection brought 
forward no exception could be taken, except on 
the ground of its superabundant richness. . . . 

By installing Dr. von Billow as conductor, 
Mr. Bache, who on previous occasions has given 
ample proof of his own remarkable skill in this 
capacity, made it plain that he was influenced by 
no motives of self-glorification, but simply by the 
desire to present the works selected in the most 
perfect manner possible. Of Dr. von Billow's 
powers as a conductor, as well as those he possesses 
as an executant, it would be impossible to speak 
in too exaggerated terms. When we recall the 
fact that he conducted the first performances of 
Wagner's " Tristan," " Die Meistersinger," etc., 
without a score before him, it will be no surprise 
to those of our readers who were not present at 
Mr. Bache's concert to learn that he conducted 
throughout, and even accompanied the songs, 
from memory. . . . 

The enthusiasm evoked by " Tasso " was 
extreme. . . . 

" Orpheus," though less exciting in character 
than " Tasso," is certainly none the less beautiful ; 
but being less clearly defined as to its poetical 
intent, and therefore less easy of comprehension, 
produced less sensation upon the audience. 

The same paper, remarking upon a concert of 

the Wagner Society, said : — 



21 8 WALTER BACHE [1874 

It was probably the warm reception accorded 
to Liszt's " Tasso " at Mr. Walter Bache's concert 
that determined its repetition here. Again it was 
splendidly played under the direction of Dr. von 
BiiloWj who took the earlier portion of it a shade 
slower than on the former occasion — a procedure 
by which it seemed to gain in clearness of effect. 
" Tasso " is certainly a work which grows in favour 
the more familiar it becomes. 



VIII 

AS A TEACHER 

LONDON (continued) 

TpHE interregnum caused by the interruption 
of the annual sequence of Walter Bache's 
orchestral concerts gives the opportunity to intro- 
duce here a parenthetical section, to which no 
exact date can be affixed. His younger sister, 
who was hoping to make her way as a pianist and 
teacher, was in the early part of her career greatly 
perplexed to know how to set about doing this. 
She had had to be content with such musical 
crumbs as fell from her brothers' table ; for, by 
the time you come to the youngest child of a long 
family with a short purse, there is not much left 
for a musical education of any sort. In these 
difficulties she was accustomed to apply to her 
brother Walter for advice on every point that 
cropped up ; hence the rather heterogeneous 
character of the following letters. The special 



Missing Page 



Missing Page 



222 WALTER BACHE 

might be a little slower than cl= lOO, so that the 
forte has time to disappear before the fiano begins. 
But bless my soul — use your noddle, my dear 
child, and it will be all right. The mere passage 
work (the quavers where there is no melody) not 
too slow and dragging. 

January 31. 

I am glad you have so many members •?■ give 
them lots of Bach and they will grumble at first, 
and all come again next year, and bring their 

sisters, cousins and aunts. Give them the ^ 

or the measles, or the mumps, and your class will 
resemble a snowball in the lovely month of May. 

I have been at four of the six Berlioz " Faust " 
performances ; it is a splendid work : our musicians 
talk of it as people do of port wine : whilst poor 
Berlioz lived (and half starved) it was eccentric, 
sensational, and clap-trap ; now it is a work of 
great genius, with some slight exaggerations ; in 
ten years more these will have disappeared. . . . 

I never heard "L'Enfance du Christ" ; of course 
1 shall go. Berlioz's " Romeo and Juliette " will be 
played at the Philharmonic concert on March 10: 
come for that, will you ? and spend your birthday 
with your loving brothers .'' 

Monday night. 

As regards music lessons — "First catch your 
pupil" ; then if she can practise i^ hours a day I 

1 In a singing-class she had started in conjunction with the 
late Dr. C. S. Heap, in Birmingham. 

* A work by a recent composer ; therefore not named 
here. 



LONDON 223 

divide it thus : mechanical studies 25 minutes : 
studies 20 : new piece, or part of it, 30 ; old piece, 
or part of it (by heart), 15 minutes. (N.B. — If 
the pupil has been badly taught, don't let her get 
up any old pieces which she learned with the 
previous duffer.) In one hour's lesson, except in 
the first few lessons, I find time for all these things ; 
or, if anything is neglected, I make the pupil 
remind me to take it first in the next lesson : thus 
everything comes round once a fortnight at least. 
Sight reading is only done in the lesson when 
there is really spare time, which is not very often. 
No pupil must read at sight alone until pretty 
well grounded in slow thorough practice, and then 
only in the proportion of about ^ hour to i^ hours' 
regular practice. If the pupil has a relative who 
reads better than herself, put her up to four-hand 
playing. But the keeping up of old pieces and 
reading can only be attended to when the pupil 
has got into good habits of practising. 

Dearest Child, 

Verily thou puzzlest me, but I will do my 
best to answer. There is a conservatory at Munich. 
The journey would of course cost more than to 
Stuttgart, as the distance is greater (vide Butler's 
Atlas). A foreign Bradshaw (with Alfred's blessing) 
will tell you. Dear child, as regards public playing, 
etc., you must decide for yourself I have only 
been against it because I see clearly that, except 
in the case of pianists who attract the general 
public, it is a case of begging and sponging on 



224 WALTER BACHE 

acquaintances. Even when a player like 

comes to London, she has to tout about and 
extract half-guineas from people in a way which 
you and I would not be capable of: and we shall 
never play half so well as she does. You must 
not refer to my concerts : I give away almost all 
my tickets ; in addition to my own playing, I 
give them an orchestra or chorus which is worth 
paying for. But for years to come I should not 
dream of a piano recital : it is mere begging for 
charity. 

I should think a year's living at Munich would 
cost the same as at Stuttgart : you will spend your 
^loo wherever you go. 

In these days of advertisements it does not do 
to attach too much importance to them : Messrs. 

Moses and Son can beat Messrs. and ^ 

any day. The real advertisement for a piano 
teacher is to make Miss Smith play so well that 
Miss Jones immediately wants to take lessons : 
this is the way in which I have got almost every one 
of my pupils. At the same time you must play 
yourself and always make progress, or your teaching 
will 6f course not make progress, and consequently 
go to pot (serve it right). 

58, Great Russell Street, 
Bedford Square, 

April 7. 
My dearest Child, 

I have heard of all your troubles with a 
very heavy heart, and think of you from morning 

1 Two teachers of the day, who owed much of their 
success to puff and humbug. 



LONDON 225 

to night.^ I You are now having your share of 
the ills of this life, and perhaps if they all come 
in a lump now, Providence may leave you alone 
for the future. But it is a heavy trial to have 
this unexpected interruption in your studies, let 
alone all the pain and illness which you suffer. 
I am sure you will bear it bravely and plucklly, 
as many much less fortunate people have borne 
greater trials. A poor lady was executed the 
other day at Durham for poisoning some dozen 
people, and her only complaint was that they 
would not let her smoke her pipe in the prison ! 
So you see you might be worse off than you are. 

But seriously, dear child, keep up your courage ! 
You have good doctors and nurses, and a most 

kind friend in Miss ; we must all feel grateful 

to her! And if the unfortunate lady at Durham 
does not afford you sufficient consolation, think of 
poor Buonamici^ who had the most M/Iianfca.reer 
imaginable in his grasp. Everything has been 

1 After she had been teaching for some years, feeling that 
further musical education was a necessity, she had gone to 
one of the foreign Conservatories. While studying there, an 
accident to the right hand put a stop, once and for ever, to 
the career of a pianist. It was during the dangerous illness 
with which this accident was connected that the above letter 
was written. Though a joke throughout, written for the 
purpose of cheering the invalid, it contains many under- 
lying truths, and is quoted for these. 

^ Signor Giuseppe Buonamici, pupil of Biilow ; whom in 
his turn he succeeded as Professor at the Munich Conserva- 
torium, where the present writer was his pupil. Settled in 
Florence, his native town, but well known also as a pianist 
in London. 

15 



226 WALTER BACHE 

taken from him by this weakness of his arm, and 
yet no one ever hears a repining word from him. 
Try to imitate him and you will be happy, even if 
you have to take in washing instead of piano 
pupils. But you will get all right, I am sure ; 
and this interruption, though occurring at so 
unfortunate a time, will be only temporary. 
Ever your affectionate 

Walter. 



Kingsbury, 

December zi. 

Of course I have often thought of your trouble, 
and it now seems to me not so hopeless as I at 
first thought. We don't groan and moan any 
more that we can't be Balows and Rubinsteins: 
we have grown out of that stage, thank goodness : 
our ambition is to do the best we can ; of course 
any physical impediment to this, bad health or the 
loss of a finger, would be a great grief to us, 
because it would deprive us of the only satisfaction 
we are ever likely to have in this life — that of 
having a high aim and always striving towards it. 

But are there not many pieces of highest rank, 
sufficient in time to form a limited repertoire, 
which make no great demands on the right hand, 
and on which you might doubly concentrate your 
energies } which you might finish and perfect in a 
way you would never have dreamed of, had not 
this misfortune compelled you to concentrate ? 
I thought of this the other day when reading 
Chopin's C sharp minor Nocturne, Op. 27. Of 



LONDON 227 

course if you practise only a dozen pieces all your 
life you will never improve musically : but, as 
your last letter tells me, you have other sources of 
musical life. . . . 

They say Bottesini has one finger useless : we 
have had one-legged dancers ; so I don't think 
you need give it up because you can't play every- 
thing : you can so much the more refine and finish 
what is within your powers. . . . 

This is a splendid place for work. I have had 
two days here, and done more than in a fortnight 
in London. Now I want no interruption : holidays 
are short, and the " Faust " symphony is long : 
likewise Beethoven Op. 106: I can do nothing at 
such great works without a little continuous study : 
half an hour on Monday night, then no more till 
Thursday night (likewise a half-hour), is absolutely 
useless : one cannot keep up the thread of such 
great stories. 

42, Upper Gloucester Place, 
Dorset Square, 

Monday. 

In reply to your question : I try to teach every 
pupil as if he were to appear at a concert of the 
Crystal Palace : those whom I know to have little 

time and no earnestness I recommend to Sir . 

I can't write more : think it out for yourself: 
can you read Shakespeare with a Frenchman who 
doesn't know the commonest rules of English 
grammar ? Just as little can you study Beethoven 
(or Blumenthal) with a pupil who doesn't know 
how to study a C major scale. Use your own 
head, and you will be all right. 
15—2 



228 WALTER BACHE 

... I am very busy now, as I want to settle 
the dates and get out the orchestral engagements 
for my concert next year : this involves fearful 
scribbling. So no more now. 

The following letter must have been written 
just after the appointment of the late Archbishop 
Benson to the See of Canterbury. The Archbishop 
was a Birmingham boy, and a nephew of one of 
the most eminent surgeons in that city (the late 
Alfred Baker, Esq.). 

Kingsbury, 

December 26. 

. . . Ask Mr. Baker to get his nephew to have 
a new prayer inserted in the. prayer-book, "Teach 
us, O Lord, to play the second fiddle." I am 
sure not only musicians but the world at large 
would be much happier if they would sometimes 
study that noble instrument. 

Well, now I must stop ; accept my very best 
wishes for the New Year ! I hope it may be a 
happy one for all of us. For me it seems to 
promise more piano practice and less anxiety. 1 
hope this may be fulfilled ! 

Good-bye, my dear child, and bless you. 

Ever your W. B. 

I find I can practise seven hours a day here ! 
Of course not yesterday or today, but on an 
uninterrupted day : it is so jolly. 



LONDON 229 

March 11. 

. . . Now, very many happy returns of the 
day, my dear child. I would have written yester- 
day from Dublin, but two nights out of bed some- 
what muddles my intellect as regards dates, and I 
quite forgot it. How awfully old we all are ; but 
if one keeps health one may like Liszt and Klind- 
worth be as juvenile at fifty or sixty as babes 
unborn. But without health this is impossible, so 
let it be the first thing ; and if we can insure it 
by taking an eighteenpenny cab when we should 
catch cold in a twopenny bus, let us spend the 
IS. 4d. and save it in doctors' bills. . . . 

If received Wiillner which I sent him, 

you can by and by explain the really important 
parts to him, omitting what he knows already. I 
now give the book to all my pupils, thus saving 
time in writing on the board ; but at the end of 
each section I make parallel exercises on the board 
to test whether they have really twigged or merely 
learned by heart. Also in reading pieces of music 
(trios, etc.) if they bungle at an interval which 
they have had in Wtillner I make them go through 
it again — don't they curse ! ! ! Now this is all I 
know, dear child, so don't ask any questions. 

42, Upper Gloucester Place, N.W., 

November 17. 

. . . About Mr. , do exactly what you 

think right, dear child : I should think an occa- 
sional appearance at a concert would be an in- 
valuable spur on to your practising, if you wish to 



230 WALTER BACHE 

pursue P. F. playing as your object in life (i.e., 
after gaining the necessary bread and butter by 
teaching) ; but if you merely carry on your piano- 
forte playing as a secondary object to literary 
work, etc., then I am not quite so sure that there 
would be any special advantage in it. These 
have always been my views : we can't all be 
Rubinsteins and Biilows, but we should only go 
before the public with our ve?y best ... we must 
not be amateurish in anything we undertake. 
Them's my sentiments ; and now good night. 

Sunday night. I reopen my letter to explain 
better my meaning which seems so harsh. 

[a) If you practise up the Fantaisie Impromptu 

(Herr Chopin) to play at Mr. 's concert, to 

wear a new dress, get new pupils and a famous 
notice in the Daily Post, that is amateur : Don't. 

(h) If you are steadily increasing your know- 
ledge of P. F. music and feel that the only way to 
be sure and firm in such knowledge is to test your 
private study occasionally in public, then to play 
the same Fantaisie Impromptu would be artistic 
and right : Do. 

December 5. 

Dearest Child, 

We talked of finger, wrist and arm actions : 
then I spoke of two things which I am accustomed 
to call " wrist and finger combinations." We 
went through one of them 



LONDON 



231 



and I forgot the other, which, to me, is equally- 
indispensable : it is this : wrist in one hand, and 
finger in the other, I merely let pupils illustrate 
it very slowly on five consecutive white keys, 
thus : — 




It was stupid of me not to be more explicit : 
whenever you can give me another ten minutes 
I should like to show you one or two other 
"dodges " which I find of greatest value in teach- 
ing, and which may not have occurred to you. 

Ever your W. B. 

Remind me : what I would say is exemplified 
in Mendelssohn's Lied ohne Worte No. i, 
Bock L; and Bertini's Study in C minor. Book I. 
(Buonamici). 

As may have been inferred from some of the 
above letters, Bache depended mostly on his own 
individual exercises for the mechanical part of his 
teaching. Like the writer of Ecclesiastes, he 
always felt strongly that " of making many books 
there is no end " ; he therefore added none to the 



232 WALTER BACHE 

voluminous literature of five-finger exercises and 
technical studies. It is not to be supposed that 
he did not use these ; but he relied far more upon 
his own personal training adapted to each indi- 
vidual pupil, with the result that, for any pupils 
who could take in the hints and examples he gave 
them, there was a delightful freshness and spoh- 
taneity even in the so often dreaded " five-finger 
work," in contrast with the stultifying effect of 
many of the books of technical exercises, where 
the pupil wades through page after page with his 
eyes on the book and his mind in the regions of 
vacuity. 

Bache's great sense of justice, and a certain 
naivete peculiarly his own, made him most popular 
with his pupils, though at the same time his 
extreme earnestness and conscientiousness kept 
them up to the mark, with a dread of coniing 
short before a master who took things so seriously. 
This very seriousness won over to a real love of 
music many a pupil who had begun it in a half- 
hearted manner, merely " because mamma wis(ied 
it," or to learn a " pretty piece " ; while the naitet^ 
piqued the pupil's sense of humour, so th^t a 
home-thrust could often be given in a joking and 
perfectly kind way. 

On one occasion he had a pupil who could not 
give any idea of rhythm. He tried one way after 



LONDON 233 

another to drum some hint of his meaning into 
her mind ; at last, nearly beside himself to find a 
better simile, he walked up and down the room 
saying, " But, my dear Miss So-and-So, don't you 
know the old rhyme. 



Jack and Jill went 



N ! 
up a hill, to 



• «< 



J ^ I ^ 

« a 

fetch a pail of 



wa - ter " ? 



In a singing-class of young girls, when teaching 
them to sing chords from dictation, there was one 
chord which he used to call " Clapham Junction," 
because it led everywhere ! The result was that 
when he called out for " Clapham Junction " the 
girls were all wide-awake and ready for it ; whereas 
if he had asked for the chord of the diminished 
seventh they would probably have looked utterly 
blank, or sung some other at haphazard. 

As will be seen by the letters to his sister, he 
did not err on the side of laxity. Probably he 
did not treat other pupils to quite so much 
sarcasm or strictness ; but his lessons to her, 
whether by letter or by word of mouth, were 
certainly bracing, if at times a little discouraging. 
And the deep earnestness and thoroughness under- 
lying all his work, whether it were the teaching of 
a scale or the rehearsal for an orchestral concert. 



234 WALTER BACHE 

together with a tough perseverance that would 
never say die, were the secret of most of his 
success, whether as teacher or artist. 

After his death, the following lines were written 
by a friend, in just appreciation of the power he 
possessed of awaking a love of music in those who 
had previously been indifferent to it : — 

Blessed in waking life in many a soul 

Wherein the love of beauty slumbering lay ; 
Whose rising was the dawn of fuller day, 

The " part " that sounds the " prelude " to the whole ; 

BlessW in giving all his life away 

For very love of what he deemed most fair. 
Seeking nor gain, nor gratitude, nor share 

In recompense of fame, he went his way. 

When, after Liszt's death, his letters were being 
collected with a view to publication, it was rather 
a matter of surprise to find how very few Bache 
possessed of these. The explanation was given 
by Signor Buonamici, to whom Walter had con- 
fided that he had. burnt a great proportion of 
Liszt's letters, because they contained remarks too 
complimentary to himself. 



T' 



IX 

LONDON {continued) and bayreuth 
1874 

^HIS autumn Walter Bache made his first 
appearance at the Crystal Palace/ with the 
Liszt transcription of "Weber's Polonaise in E 
major. At the same concert Raff's " Lenore " 
symphony was given for the first time in this 
country. The Polonaise and its soloist had a very 
warm reception. The papers, as a whole, spoke 
most highly of this debut, as well as of the Liszt 
transcription ; but prejudice was not yet dead in 
1874, any more than it is in 1901, and Bache 

^ Mr. Hipkins relates the following: "Walter's first 
appearance, in 1874, at the Crystal Palace, was nearly put 
off by his missing the concert-train at Victoria. He rushed 
out frantic to the cabstand, and bargained, I think for 30s., 
for a hansom to take him down in time. The cabman said, 
' You must hold tight, sir !' Walter arrived just in time to 
step on to the platform, and one may imagine in what condition 
for the public performance of a difficult work and as a first 
appearance !" 



236 WALTER BACHE [1874 

(and Liszt) were severely called over the coals by 
some of the ultra-conservative critics, as witness 
the following : 

Liszt's pot-pourri, made out of the Polacca and 
Polonaise of Weber, is one of those things which 
ought never to be admitted into a programme of 
classical music, and it is difficult to understand 
why a musician like Mr. Walter Bache should 
have thought proper to introduce it. Shade of 
his brother ! — a true musician if there ever was 
one. 

In the summer he had paid a special visit to 
Rome to see Liszt again, of which the following 
account may be quoted : — 

To HIS Sister. 

Florence, 

September 7, Monday, 1874. 

Dearest Maggie, 

I returned here yesterday morning, and 
found yours and Alfred's most pleasant letters 
awaiting me. I arrived at Rome on Sunday 
morning August 30. In the afternoon I had the 
great pleasure of seeing Liszt. I had rather 
dreaded it, as I would rather never have seen him 
again than have found him ageing (mentally), or 
have perceived any falling off in his playing. I 
ventured to tell him afterwards that this reason 
has kept me from visiting him for so many years, 



1874] LONDON 237 

and that now I shall go to him regularly every 
year. He is the same as ever, although he was 
last winter completely broken down by the fearful 
work and bothers of Pesth : his teeth are going a 
little, and this sometimes slightly affects his pro- 
nunciation ; but this is the only difference I 
notice. He played a great deal to me — several 
hours every day — as magnificently as ever; as 
Billow said, all the pianists are " dumme Jungen " 
as compared with him ! He played Beethoven 
Sonata Op. 70, three Chopin Polonaises, several 
Mazurkas, some things of Bach, and works of 
Balow, Draseke,^ etc. On Monday we went a long 
drive together — Coliseum, St. Peter's, etc. On 
Tuesday — with Pinner, an American pupil, a 
first-rate fellow, and Dr. Blum, a German pupil — 
we removed to Tivoli, four hours' drive. Liszt 
lives at the Villa d'Este, an enormous uninhabited 
villa with a splendid view of the Campagna. We 
lived at the hotel, and went to Liszt every 
morning at about eleven, when he played to us 
till one, when we all dined together ; then we 
visited him again at about six and stayed till 8.30 
with him. 

I told him about C.'s translations, and he said 
it was a difficult task, and that there might be 
cases in which it would be preferable to alter the 
music, rather than to sacrifice the proper accent or 
declamation. 

I told him I had given up my notions of living 
abroad, and was determined to do my best in 

1 Herr Felix Draseke ; composer and musical writer. 



238 WALTER BACHE [1874 

England ; and he said that he only met dis- 
satisfied people ; the man who lives in Leipzig 
thinks that his talents would find more scope in 
St. Petersburg, etc., whereas everyone in time can 
create a more or less musical atmosphere around 
them if they will put their shoulders to the 
wheel, instead of grumbling ; he instanced Mme. 
Laussot, who has, in fifteen years only, done so 
much in Florence, the most unmusical place 
perhaps on the face of the globe. . . . 

Confound 's youthful ardour ! I have so 

often myself suffered from the same complaint, 
and been very near spoiling my chances of doing 
good in the Liszt cause by violent letters against 
Mr. Davison and Co.,^ but fortunately I can't 
write, and these fellows can ; many a letter have 
I addressed to the Editor of the Musical Record 
and many a stinging notice have I prepared for 
my programmes ; and then — put it in the fire. 
These blessed paper controversies make bad 
blood, and do no good — one must work by 
actions. 

Only once, as far as I am aware, did Bache 
himself sin in this respect, but — curiously enough 
— it was quite shortly after he wrote the above 
letter. The Weber-Liszt Polacca having been 
sharply attacked by some of the critics, Bache, 
who would have scorned to notice their criticisms 

1 Meaning the press critics in general. 



1875] LONDON 239 

had they been directed against himself only, was 
stung by the flagrant injustice shown towards 
Liszt, and inserted some caustic, though very 
apposite, remarks in the programme of his next 
orchestral concert (1875), showing how the same 
thing for which Liszt had been so unmercifully 
pulled to pieces — namely, the re-arrangement in a 
different form by one master of the work of 
another master — had been done by Mozart, 
Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and many 
others, without adverse comment ; thus proving 
that there was a good deal of animus against Liszt 
personally in the aforementioned criticisms. 

Liszt's Thirteenth Psalm was repeated on this 
occasion, Bache having secured the co-operation 
of his friend and master, Bdlow, as conductor. 
The writer of these pages, who was one of the 
chorus, can bear testimony to the marvellously 
magnetic power of Bulow over his orchestra and 
chorus. He seemed to possess the faculty of 
beckoning forth their voices, and literally made 
them sing. The concert-giver played Liszt's 
Second Concerto in A major for the first time 
at his own concerts ; it had been introduced to 
England by Mr. Dannreuther at the Crystal 
Palace three months previously. Bache also 
played it about this period at one of the Albert 
Hall concerts. Writing to one of his brothers 



240 WALTER BACHE [1875 

some months afterwards, in reference to this 
concert, he said : — 

My concert was (to everyone's surprise) a most 
heavy loss : expenses between ;£230 and ^^SO — 
receipts ^^iio! Balow insists on paying ^50 
towards the loss. This ought to be known : he 
conducted also for nothing. So I shall soon get 
all right again. The concert was perhaps the 
most magnificent performance that has ever been 
given in London ; Billow was delighted with the 
orchestra ; the hall was respectably filled (many 
orders), and the audience most enthusiastic. 
Btilow was really pleased with me, and altogether 
I did my best. 

This year began the rehearsals, at Bayreuth, for 
the contemplated performance of Wagner's " Ring 
des Nibelungen " in 1876. Writing from that 
place on August 8 to his sister, Bache said : — 

There are two rehearsals every day here : in 
the morning from 10 to i orchestral rehearsal ; 
in the afternoon from 5 to 7 the same music is 
repeated with the singers. They have just finished 
the second act of" Siegfried ": taking one act each 
day they will finish on Thursday. I shall then 
go to see Klindworth for one day, and then to 
Munich, where I must practise hard, and try in 
the remaining three weeks of holiday to do what 
I had set myself for the six weeks. . . . Liszt is 
here, and is as charming and good as ever ; he is 



1876] LONDON 241 

playing just as he did ten years ago. We are 
invited to Wagner's house every evening, and we 
go three or four times every week : Liszt is living 
there. Altogether these two weeks are perhaps 
the most eventful I shall ever see — unless indeed 
the performances next year. The town is very 
beautiful, and the theatre about half a mile distant 
in the most lovely country : the invisible orchestra 
and conductor will certainly give a reality to the 
performances of which we can form no idea. 

In February 1876, Bache gave, for the first 
time at his concerts, Liszt's Oratorio " The Legend 
of St. Elizabeth." A performance of this work 
had been given in London some six years pre- 
viously; but, in spite of first-rate singers (Tietjens 
and Stockhausen) it had been so indifferently done 
that it does not count for much ; and to all intents 
and purposes therefore the present occasion may 
be regarded as its real introduction. With an 
orchestra of 70, and a chorus of 175, Mrs. Osgood 
in the title-role, and the concert-giver as conductor, 
the work went beautifully, and made a great 
success. 

In the previous October Liszt had written to 
Bache as follows : — 

With regard to the " Elizabeth " performance (at 
your " Twelfth Annual Concert " on February 24) 
I am somewhat anxious on account of the great 
16 



242 WALTER BACHE [1876 

exertions and expense which the performance will 
entail upon you. Still I will not make any further 
objection to your characteristically firm iKCorn^/^- 
ness in your steadfast wish and endeavour to do 
the utmost possible for the good of your old friend, 
now sixty-four years of age. 

And, on March 8, 1876, he wrote again as 
follows : — 

Honoured and dear Friend, 

You, in your London " Annual Concerts," 
have for twelve years worked more wonders than 
I was able to compose in the " Rosenwunder "^ of 
" Elizabeth." Hearty thanks for your account of 
the 1 2th concert, and all the exertions connected 
with it ! 

I beg you to present my most respectful com- 
pliments to Mrs. Osgood (" Elizabeth "). . , . 

Entirely approving of the use of the mute in 
the passage 



i 



KH^r-^T— T^-^^^ 



and during the chorus of angels, remains, in sincere 
esteem for the steadfast conductor and friend 
Walter Bache, his faithful and grateful 

F, L1SZT.2 

1 Alluding to the "Rose Miracle" in the Oratorio. 
^ " Letters of Franz Liszt," vol. ii., p. 295. London : 
Grevel and Co., King Street, Covent Garden. 



1876] BAYREUTH 243 

Bache wrote the following postcard to his 
faithful friend Mme. Laussot: — 

March i, 1876. 
" Elizabeth " very successful, and a really first- 
rate performance. Dr. Hueffer,^ who has heard 
it four times in Germany, had never heard it so 
well. Chorus (185) splendid — orchestra the best 
in London — Mrs. Osgood really beautiful — full 
hall — deficit of more than {^100. I send you a 
specimen of London criticism which will amuse 
you ; the other papers are all in the same style. 



In the month of August began the first Wagner 
performances at Bayreuth. A year beforehand 
Liszt had written thus to a friend : — 

The performances (announced for the month of 
August, '76) of the Tetralogy, "Der Ring des 
Nibelungen," will be the chief event of dramatic 
art, thus royally made manifest for the first time 
in this century in Its ensemble and unification of 
Poetry, Music, Acting, and their decorations of 
Painting and mise-en-scene. 

There is not merely the chance, but the guarantee 
of a grand and striking success, in view of the 
sublimity of the work itself, and also of the 
enthusiasm it already excites amongst the numerous 
staff of artists chosen to interpret it. In spite of 
the difficulties of this new transcendental style of 

1 Dr. Francis HuefFer, 1 845-1 889 ; musical writer, author 
and translator ; critic of the Times from 1878 till his death. 

16 — 2 



244 WALTER BACHE [1876 

Wagner, the preparatory study and rehearsals are 
an enchantment for the singers and the musicians 
of the orchestra. 

The renown of these performances has long ago 
spread far and wide ; but at that date it was a 
very diiFerent thing ; any renown they then had, 
in England, at least, was a notoriety of scofFs and 
jeers ; and the comparatively few devotees who 
joined in them in unfashionable 1876 were looked 
upon as harmless lunatics. Bache of course was 
amongst the latter ; but, owing to the excitement 
and repleteness of those three Festival weeks, 
there was but little time to spend in letter-writing, 
and consequently there are no letters of his to 
hand on this great event. From a private account, 
written by a young enthusiast who was present, a 
few particulars are culled which may be of interest, 
even now when all the world has been there. 

Monday, August 7, 1 1 p.m. When it seemed 
that we were approaching Bayreuth I looked out for 
the first glimpse of the town, and on one side all 
was darkness ; on the other a blaze of light from 
a strange-looking building, which has already been 
depicted many a time and oft on paper, but which 
my mortal eyes now beheld in reality for the first 
time. Certainly as far as the outside of the theatre 
is concerned, the most favourable view of it is that 
which I had, when the mere outline of the building 
is thrown into relief against the night sky by the 



1876] BAYREUTH 245 

bright lights burning around ; for by daylight it 
is but an ugly red-brick place after all. 

On Sunday and Monday were the public re- 
hearsals of " Rheingold " and " Die Walkiire," 
and on Tuesday of " Siegfried." On Tuesday, 
August 8, therefore, I entered for the first time 
the building so often dreamt of, the place so long 
wished for. The rehearsal was quite full, and in 
the dim gaslight could be discerned more than 
one friendly face. By and by I see a massive 
head with long white hair hanging all round, and 
Liszt comes in. Afterwards 1 had many oppor- 
tunities of seeing him nearer, while we strolled 
about between the acts. The first sight is rather 
disappointing, after the grand-looking photo- 
graphs, to see an old man with a shabby hat and 
an almost shambling gait. Wagner was all about, 
trotting among his actors and talking to them 
during the breathing-time in between. 

We walked home from the theatre in the moon- 
light, and. the next night went to the rehearsal of 
"Gotterdammerung." I was surprised to find 
that, although people had to pay a good price for 
this last rehearsal, the theatre was just as full as 
on the previous night, when the entrance was 
free. The performance was the most magnificent 
piece of tragedy I have ever seen, but I shall 
speak of the operas each in turn, when I have 
seen the regular performances, as these were only 
the rehearsals.^ 

^ Any account of the performances is naturally omitted 
here, as they are now so universally familiar. The above 
deals only with a few details and first impressions. 



246 WALTER BACHE [1876 

On Thursday Wagner holds receptions, to 
which everyone who is invited ought to go. 
These are generally crowded of course. 

Friday, August 11, we went to see the Wagner 
Theatre, where we had been told we might go 
about and look behind the scenes. This was 
most interesting, for, though in some ways it may 
spoil the illusion, still it is so helpful for gaining 
some idea of the enormous size and the innumer- 
able appliances of Wagner's theatre that it is 
worth while losing (if it should prove so) a little 
of the illusion to get the knowledge. I, for one, 
could hardly have believed, if I had not seen 
it, that the stage is actually larger than the 
auditorium. But now I have stood upon Wagner's 
stage myself, have been to the very back, and all 
across, seen the invisible orchestra, and looked up 
into the vast height of the scenic arrangements 
above; and I come away more than ever filled 
with admiration for the wonderful genius which 
not only wrote the words and music — music 
which in itself seems sometimes more than 
earthly — but which also conceived, and has carried 
into execution, every little detail that goes to 
make these performances the grandest, the most 
thoroughly perfect, that this age has witnessed, 
or will perhaps ever witness again. 

After leaving the theatre, we drove to the 
" Eremitage," a lovely pleasure resort a few miles 
off, where there is a chateau : here last week King 
Ludwig of Bavaria, the Wagner enthusiast, was 
staying in order to attend the rehearsals. There 



1876] BAYREUTH 247 

was always some excitement to see him enter his 
box, which no one could ever succeed in doing, 
as he never came in until the last, and, at the 
moment of his entering, the lights were gradually 
lowered, so that all that the eager public could 
behold of royalty was a dark shadow passing 
quietly through the rows of the " FUrsten Loge." 
He shuns publicity, and being an enthusiastic 
admirer of Wagner likes to be able to enjoy his 
operas with the peace and quiet of a private 
individual. After the rehearsals he left Bayreuth, 
and I do not yet know whether he will return for 
the performances. 

Saturday, August 12, the streets, which had 
been decorated with garlands and bunting a week 
ago for King Ludwig's entrance, were refurbished 
up for the coming of the Emperor of Germany 
and the Emperor of Brazil, who both arrived in 
the afternoon. 

We had one or two jolly evenings after the 
second Ring cycle, supping at the Wagner Re- 
stauration; — just a delightful little party — Pro- 
fessor and Mrs. Klindworth, Frau Professor 
Cornelius,^ Bache and his sister, Messrs. Frits 
Hartvigson, Pinner (a pupil of Liszt's, a nice and 
very clever little American), and some Poles, 
friends of the Klindworths ; also, and not least, 
Signor Buonamici. 

Monday, August 21, I called for Bache at 

1 The widow of Peter Cornelius ; see note 2, p. 257. 



248 WALTER BACHE [1876 

10 o'clock to go and call upon Liszt; and on this 
memorable day therefore I entered "Wahnfried" 
for the first time. 

We were shown into the hall, an oblong room 
with a door at each end, and another opposite the 
entrance, which is in one of the long sides of the 
oblong. In one corner a small organ, in the three 
others lounges, and in the centre a handsome 
grand pianoforte, sent by Steinway of New York 
as a " Festspiel " present to Wagner, as stated on 
the inscription inside it. 

Round the walls are frescoes from the " Nibe- 
lungen Lied"; and up above runs a gallery or 
landing, belonging no doubt to the private rooms 
of the house. On each side of the door leading to 
Wagner's study are marble busts of Wagner and 
Coslma, his wife, and round the hall are arranged, 
also on pedestals, marble statuettes of the heroes 
of his different operas — "Lohengrin," "Tann- 
hauser," "Tristan," "Walther von Stolzing," the 
"Fliegender Hollander," and "Siegfried." Of 
these the most lovely in attitude and expression 
is Siegfried. He is standing, as it were, in the 
happiest moment of his triumph ; he holds in 
one hand the fatal ring, which he has just received 
as a love-token from Brilnnhilde ; and, with helmet 
on his head, he is prepared to go forth on new 
adventures. The tragedy that is to follow is yet 
undreamt of; the figure looks full of light and 
grace, and a wonderful amount of expression has 
been worked into the cold marble. So we might 
almost hear BrUnnhilde's words, as she speeds him 



1876] BAYREUTH 249 

onward: — " Z\i neuen Thaten, theurer H^lde"; 
and "O war BrUnnhild deine Seek!" 

I had time to look at the statuettes, as we were 
kept waiting some minutes before being finally 
shown into the room on the left of the hall. 
This room, I believe, is Cosima's boudoir ; it is 
very elegant, with settees and screens and pretty 
things all about, the walls hung with yellow satin 
damask. This seems to be Liszt's special room 
when he is here; a writing table, grand piano 
open, papers scattered about, all betoken his 
presence. 

There were about half a dozen other people 
waiting to see him. M. Saint-Saens^ came and, 
as Liszt wanted to show him some things, he 
played just a little; but yet I can hardly boast 
that I have heard Liszt play, as this was merely 
" tapoter du piano." We stayed there about an 
hour ; and when we came away I said what a 
pleasure it had been to hear him play — that it 
had always been my great wish ; and he was most 
kind, and said that, if we would go again on a 
day when there was no performance at the Wagner 
Theatre, he would play to us more and better. 
This, alas,, we did not venture to do, as poor 
Liszt was so beset by callers, so importuned 
during the whole time, that he was quite tired, 
and Bache thought we ought not to go again. 

On Wednesday night, the finale of finales, the 
close of the third and last series of performances, 

1 Dr. Charles Camille Saint-Saens, born in Paris ; pianist, 
organist, and especially composer of celebrity. 



250 WALTER BACHE [1876 

a truly irrepressible outburst of feeling followed 
the drawing of the curtains, and a shout for 
Wagner, to which, after some delay, he responded 
by appearing on the boards in front of the great 
curtains. Bouquets and wreaths were flung to 
him from all sides ; and after the cheers had sub- 
sided he spoke a few words, in that somewhat 
sad, earnest, not over-hopeful tone of voice, which 
would seem to tell of great aims, great dis- 
appointments. He spoke of the event which had 
brought numbers from far and near, with a touch 
of sadness as he expressed a doubt whether this 
event could take place again. He spoke too of 
the devotion of those men and women who had 
aided him so nobly to bring his great Life-Dream 
to the light of day ; and as he spoke of them the 
curtains drew back, and we beheld once more all 
those actors and actresses who had taken us, for 
the last several weeks, into another life — into 
a dream-life created by the one Master-spirit 
before us. 

On Thursday evening, August 31, Wagner 
held his last reception at his own house, and to 
this I went with Bache. It seemed like a dream 
when I heard him tell the coachman to drive to 
" Wahnfried " ! Though there had been receptions 
every week after the performances, this was the 
first to which I had been ; it was therefore a 
glorious ending to a month of such happiness as 
can come only once in a life — a never-to-be-for- 
gotten, real day-dream. 



1876] BAYREUTH 251 

We found our way into the study, the largest 
room of all, opposite the entrance door. Here 
we made our way to Mme. Wagner, who received 
their guests. Wagner, like Gallio, "cared for 
none of those things," and troubled himself only 
about a few. Liszt was also there, and I had the 
last hope of hearing him play once more ; but, 
alas, he was very tired, and vanished quite early. 
The study |is a large and lofty room, I should 
imagine about two-thirds of the length of the 
house. A large bow window at the end, grand 
piano, screens and lounges, easels and paintings 
artistically arranged around ; on one of the easels 
a painting of Schopenhauer. A splendid library of 
books ; above them, and over the doors, paintings 
of Liszt, Wagner, Beethoven, etc. Tables filled 
with interesting trophies to Liszt or Wagner, 
medals, etc. 

In the room to the right of the front door 
supper was laid ; and here there was one amusing 
curiosity in the shape of a large cake presented to 
Wagner by Wilhelmj.^ It was one of the large 
flat round cakes that appear on every German 
table on Sundays and grand occasions, and had 
been specially sent for by Wilhelmj for this occasion 
from I do not know how far away: it had been 
made to his order with two little birds at the 
top, and at the bottom a few bars of the " bird 
motive " from " Siegfried " ; this cake caused great 
amusement. 

1 Mr. Auguste Wilhelmj ; the celebrated violinist ; now a 
resident Professor in London. He was the leader of the 
Bayreuth orchestra that year. 



Missing Page 



Missing Page 



254 WALTER BACHE [1877 

where he frequently retired when he wanted a 
piano, a horse, a pipe and a book, and immunity 
from his fellow-men. This friendship was a life- 
long one, and he made Mr. Allen his executor, 

Bache's orchestral concert, in February of this 
year, was again an event of musical importance. 
At the end of 1876 Mr. Manns had given Liszt's 
Symphonic Poem, " Mazeppa," at the Crystal 
Palace ; and Bache took the occasion to repeat 
this at his own concert, the reasons for which are 
explained in the following letter, written eighteen 
months afterwards : — 

To Mme. Laussot. 

August 26, 1878. 

A thousand thanks for your most generous 
ofFer, which I can't accept. Firstly, I am not yet 
sure about doing " Ideale," as I now think that 
for an English public and English orchestra 
" Hungaria "^ should come first : I have pressed 
this very strongly on Manns, and shall probably 
be guided by what he does: the Crystal Palace 
will only perform a work " for the first time " in 
England, So I do more for Liszt's music by 
giving a second performance of a work which they 
have done once with scanty rehearsals, than by 
forcing a new work. And, in this case, I should 
get Manns to conduct. . . . His "Mazeppa" 

^ This work was given for the first time in England at a 
Philharmonic concert in February 1882. 



1877] LONDON 255 

performance was superb at my concert : both he 
and his orchestra had thus had time to get 
thoroughly at home in it. 

To the same friend he sent a postcard, a few 
days after the above concert, as follows : — 

" Mazeppa " splendid. Manns (formerly a fiddler 
himself) worked with the violin players like a 
nigger, fingering and editing all difficult passages : 
strings quite sufficient for the brass. Manns 
enthusiastic : a really magnificent performance. It 
quite took my breath away. It is one of Liszt's 
very grandest works : but can't often be per- 
formed, requiring so many rehearsals, such a large 
stringed orchestra, and a conductor who has 
been a violinist. Damrosch^ might do it, but no 
one could better than Manns. Klindworth's in- 
strumentation lovely. Receipts £110 — expenses 
;^28o ! 95 in orchestra. 

"Klindworth's instrumentation" refers to the 
Chopin F minor P. F. Concerto, played, in addi- 
tion to Liszt's A major Concerto, by the concert- 
giver. On this occasion was also heard, for the 
first time with orchestral accompaniment, Liszt's 
" Loreley," in which Mrs. Osgood's light bell- 
like soprano told with charming effect. The 

^ Dr. Leopold Damrosch, 1832-1885 ; took his degree as 
doctor of medicine, which career he afterwards abandoned 
for that of music ; violinist and conductor ; best known in 
the latter capacity in New York, whither he went in 1 87 1. 



256 WALTER BACHE [1877 

" Preludes," which has ever been the most popular 
of Liszt's Symphonic Poems, because the most 
frequently heard and the easiest to understand, 
was also repeated. 

It would appear that Mme, Laussot had sug- 
gested a work of Billow's for one of Bache's next 
concerts, eliciting the following reply : — 

To Mme. Laussot. 

Upper Gloucester Place, 

October 14, 1877. 

I perfectly agree with every word in your last 
letter about Billow, but nevertheless can't carry 
out your wishes, which are also mine. My next 
concert (February 19) must be a cheap one with 
one rehearsal : so nothing new will be done. 
You will get the programme in a few days. In 
1879, if I have money, it must be the Faust 
Symphony. Liszt is the most ill-used genius the 
world ever saw. All are ungrateful to him. No 
Wagner, Bulow, Joachim, or Klindworth would 
be here but for Liszt. Liszt's music has marked 
a step in non-theatrical music : Billow's will have 
no after-influence. So it must and shall be Liszt 
first (after Bayreuth) with me : if ever I get 
money enough for anything else, then I will do 
what you suggest, and what I should like. But I 
lose courage with my abominable fellow-creatures ! 
That a magnificent performance of Liszt's Faust 
Symphony under Billow's, Klindworth's or Richter's 



i878] LONDON 257 

direction, can't be given without a certain loss of 
^200 is " demnition hard." 

The' programme for February 19, 1878, in- 
cluded Beethoven's Fifth Concerto, and Liszt's 
wonderful piece of tone-painting, the Fantasia on 
Hungarian Melodies, for the concert-giver, with 
Mr. Manns again at the conductor's desk ; a 
repetition of " Orpheus " (for orchestra) ; solos 
for piano ; Liszt's " Scene dramatique, Jeanne 
d'Arc au Bucher," set to words of Alexandre 
Dumas, and finely interpreted by Miss Anna 
Williams.^ " By desire " some lovely vocal duetts 
of Peter Cornelius,^ which Bache had given at his 
Recital two years previously, were repeated. 

A word here apropos of Cornelius. Until some 
of his chamber compositions were introduced to 
London by Bache, this really great composer was 
almost unknown here, even by name. Yet in 
Germany, a quarter of a century earlier, Liszt had 
thrown down his baton and thrown up his position 
in Weimar for the sake of Cornelius. It is an old 
story now, and need not be recalled here, but 
it serves up as apropos in 1901 as it did at the 

^ Miss Anna Williams, the well-known concert and 
oratorio singer; now Professor at the Royal College of Music. 

^ Peter Cornelius, 1824-1874 ; author, composer and Pro- 
fessor ; one of the chief adherents of the " New German 
School," and thrown into the closest relations with Liszt, 
Wagner, Biilow, etc. 

17 



258 WALTER BACHE [1878 

time of its occurrence, for unfortunately we are 
still as apt as we then were to overlook the pure 
gold, and to be satisfied with the alloy. Suffice it 
to say that Cornelius has left behind him a wealth 
of exquisite song and poetry — for he was usually 
his own librettist — besides three operas, for a 
future generation of English to enjoy and appre- 
ciate, if the present fails to do so. For, like so 
many really great composers, Cornelius passed 
away without general recognition. Wagner passed 
through all the throes of unrecognised genius, 
and had to wait long for his triumph, but it did 
come in his life-time ; Liszt, the noble, the self- 
abnegating, had to wait far longer ; and Cornelius, 
that genial composer and single-minded man, the 
longest of all, for, except among the very few, his 
fame has been posthumous only. 

The genius of Cornelius's works was fully 
recognised by Bache, and had he been on the 
look-out only for the beautiful, from whatsoever 
source, I think there is little doubt that he would 
have introduced more of this Master's composi- 
tions ; but he had early set himself one work in 
life, one goal to attain, and from that work and 
that goal he swerved neither to the right nor to 
the left. He has been heard to say, in respect to 
other and more popular composers than Liszt, 
" there are plenty of people always ready to bring 



1878] LONDON 



259 



out their works, therefore those I can leave." At 
the same time he gave sufficient specimens of 
Cornelius to whet people's appetite for more ; as, 
for instance, at his Recital in 1880, when he intro- 
duced (I believe for the first time in England) 
that series of tender and delicate tone-poems 
entitled " Christmas Songs," Op. 8. 

In respect to his concert just mentioned, he 
thus criticises it to his Florence friend : — 

Concert musically very successful, I think. 
" Orpheus " sounded lovely, and pleased very 
much — much more than it did some years ago, 
even when conducted by Bulow; which shows 
that British intelligence, so low in politics, is 
improving in matters musical. " Jeanne d'Arc " 
most effective with orchestra : singer really unwell, 
or it would have been still better. I played my 
best ; Ballade and Rhapsodic (of course) pleased : 
"Paysage" not at all. Expenses nearly £100 — 
receipts ;^6 7 os. 6d. 

On the much vexed question of touting for sub- 
scribers to concerts, or getting friends to take 
tickets, he held the strongest opinions, which it 
may not be amiss to quote, as he acted up to his 
own principles on this point throughout the whole 
of his career. 

Writing to Mme. Laussot in July 1878, he 
said : — 

17 — 2 



26o WALTER BACHE [1878 

O my dear Grandmother, save me from these 

travelling virtuosi, , , etc. : if you know 

a good circus-rider or Punch-and-Judy man, send 
him to me : but these others are beggars of the 

deepest Unverschamtheit. Old Z first wants 

me to write him a newspaper notice, which he 
would get inserted in the Morning Post. Then 
he wants me to send some of my pupils to his 
matinee (tickets one guinea) : when my pupils can 
hear Piatti and Lasserre^ for one shilling why 

should they pay a guinea for Z ? Let these 

people teach Cramer or Czerny or play in the 
orchestra, and I will help them if I g^t a chance. 
But the travelling virtuoso, who is a gentleman, 
does not exist any more, except in about three 
instances. 

Preparing for his next orchestral concert, he 
wrote as follows to his friend Mr. C. A. Barry 
(see also Part L, p. 84) : — 

January 3, 1879. 

At my next concert, February 25, besides 
" Mazeppa," I shall give BqIow's " Des Sanger's 
Fluch," and Liszt's " Rhapsodic Hongroise " for 
Orchestra, No. 4 in D and G, dedicated to Graf 
Teleki. . . . Now could you make me a little 
short analysis of each, with a few musical quota- 
tions, on one stave when possible, for people to 
take home with them .? 

1st. As regards Billow's work : I have per- 
mission from the Glasgow people to reprint their 

^ Another eminent violoncellist. 



1879] LONDON 261 

translation of Uhland's ballade, which was used at 
Campbell's concert : but I want also a few musical 
quotations, strung together with as few remarks as 
possible. Why I keep on bothering about brevity- 
is that I so often see people reading the analysis 
instead of listening to the music, and I want to 
give them little to read, merely a few landmarks 
to assist them in a strange composition. Shall I 
send you Campbell's programme with translation? 
2nd. As regards Liszt's Rhapsodic : three or 
four musical quotations will suffice : the title-page 
says " instrumented by Liszt and Doppler." Now 
Doppler was a flute player who did arrange some 
of these P. F. Rhapsodies for orchestra. So when 
Liszt published the set of six (I think) at 
Schuberth's, he very generously put Doppler's 
name on the title out of compliment to him ; but 
Doppler had nothing to do with them. If you 
like to mention this characteristic of Liszt's kind- 
ness, do so ; but don't mention my authority for 
it, which is Liszt himself. . . . 

From this date onwards the familiar " C. A. B." 
initials appeared on most of the analytical notices 
for Bache's concerts, as they have so long done on 
those for Richter and the Crystal Palace. 

Btllow's descriptive Ballad, " Des Sanger's 
Fluch," was given on this occasion, February 25, 
1879, for the second (and I fear up to the present 
date the last) time in London. " Mazeppa " was 
repeated, necessitating an increase in the orchestra, 



262 WALTER BACHE [1879 

on account of its heavy scoring. Other interesting 
works completed the programme, but do not call 
for special remark here. 

Bache's criticism to his friend in Florence 
followed as usual : — 

" Mazeppa " was an enormous success : it went 
with even more freedom and Virtuositdt than two 
years ago. The audience wanted it again, and 
would not be quiet until Manns made a speech, 
saying it was impossible to repeat it. Billow's 
work had been tremendously rehearsed by Manns, 
and went splendidly : with utmost freedom and 
intelligence. . . . Expenses about j^2 80 : receipts 
about j^ 1 00. 

One of the London critiques of this concert 
closes a long and appreciative notice with the 
following remarks : — 

Mr. Manns was recalled three times, and then 
Mr. Bache had to respond to calls that would not 
be denied, and the audience fairly roared at him. 
Never was applause more deserved. Mr. Bache 
has done an incalculable benefit to the cause of 
music in his persistent efforts to make known the 
works of the modern German school. We may 
with just pride reflect that it is an Englishman who 
has earned this debt of gratitude from English and 
German alike in the musical world of England. 

This summer (1879) Bache's hohday alternated 
between the snow-capped mountains of Tyrol, and 



i88o] LONDON 263 

Munich, for performances of the " Ring," " Lohen- 
grin, " etc., varied by a little trip to Kufstein to 
meet, and travel back with, Liszt, then on his way 
to Rome. Bache was utilizing his holidays, as he 
invariably did, to prepare for his next campaign ; 
and this year it was Liszt's " Faust Symphony " 
that was the special cheval de bataille. It was 
given, for the first time in England, at his next 
concert on March 11, 1880. That he had the 
performance of this work perhaps more deeply at 
heart than that of any other composition of Liszt's 
may be gathered from a letter, probably the last, he 
wrote to his friend in Florence, and which, under 
date January 25, 1888, is quoted on p. 315. 
Curiously too this work was the very last he ever 
gave, and the final occasion on which he appeared 
in public, just two months before his death. 

In June 1880 he made his first appearance at 
the Richter concerts, in the rather unusual role of 
organist in Liszt's Symphonic Poem, " Die 
Hunnenschlacht." The following year he played 
Chopin's F minor Concerto (with Klindworth's 
scoring) at one of the Richter concerts, and in 
1883 he was again the pianist in the concert of 
June 4, at which he appeared in Beethoven's 
Choral Fantasia. 

The quotation (a few pages back) of receipts 
and expenditure makes it a matter of no surprise 



264 WALTER BACHE [1881 

that he was obliged to give himself a year's rest 
from orchestral concerts, to enable him to recover 
from the heavy monetary losses he had incurred 
through them. At the end of the programme of 
his 1880 Recital, therefore, he announced his 
intention of giving only Recitals in 1 8 8 1 , and of 
repeating the " Faust Symphony " the following 
year. Accordingly in March 1882 he resumed the 
orchestral concerts, and led off with a thoroughly 
characteristic programme of three works only, all 
for orchestra : Liszt's " Goethe Fest-Marsch " ; the 
"Tanz in der Dorfschenke," better known as the 
" Mephisto-Walzer," performed by the Richter 
orchestra, for the first time in England, the 
previous May ; and the " Faust Symphony," for 
the second time at these concerts. The Athentsum, 
commenting on the first performance of Liszt's 
" Faust Symphony," contained the following 
remarks : — 

Mr. Walter Bache's annual concert always 
ranks as one of the most important events of the 
musical season. Unlike most concerts given by 
professors of music, at which the beneficiaire relies 
upon the assistance of a few vocalists or instru- 
mentalists, that of Mr. Bache has for some years 
past been orchestral. At a heavy pecuniary out- 
lay, and expecting an almost certain loss, the 
concert-giver, with truly artistic devotion, con- 
tinues to labour for the sake of music, and to 



1882] LONDON 265 

bring forward works never to be heard elsewhere, 
with the utmost possible completeness. 

Mr. Bache is well known as a pupil, and, we 
may add, as the self-constituted apostle, of Liszt. 
Year after year he brings to a hearing the com- 
positions of his master, many of which, but for 
his exertions, would be altogether unknown here ; 
and, undaunted by the coolness with which some 
of them have been received, he perseveres in his 
self-imposed mission with a heroism which it is 
impossible not to admire. At St. James's Hall, 
last Thursday week, he produced for the first 
time in England a work considered by many to be 
Liszt's master-piece — the " Faust Symphony ". . . . 
Many will doubdess be ready to endorse our 
decided conviction that the symphony is one of 
the most remarkable and interesting works of 
modern times. 

The Times, in a long sketch of the symphony, 
included the following appreciative remarks of the 
concert-giver : — 

Mr. Bache, as our readers are aware, is a 
faithful disciple of Liszt, and to the propagation 
of that Master's fame, much more than to the 
display of his own skill as a pianist, his concerts 
are usually devoted. It is, indeed, very doubtful 
whether, without Mr. Bache's unselfish and 
energetic endeavours, much of Liszt's music would 
have been heard in this country; and to him 
London amateurs mainly owe their acquaintance 



266 WALTER BACHE [1882 

with one of the most extraordinary artistic indi 
vidualities of modern times. 



After an interval of six years, Bayreuth emerged 
from her retirement once more. With ardour 
undimmed, with powers undiminished, undismayed 
by sneers, undaunted by hostile criticism, Wagner 
came forth with his last, and — as some of us think 
— his greatest, masterpiece. On July 26, 1882, 
the first public performance of " Parsifal " took 
place, and these were continued three times weekly 
until August 29. Bache's report of it is included 
in the two following letters : — 

To Mme. Hillebrand (formerly Mme. 
Laussot). 

Bei Herrn Bergamtmann Hahn, 
Rennweg, Bayreuth, 

July z8, 10 a.m. 

My dearest Grandmother, 

I promised an account of " Parsifal," but 
cannot keep my word ; the whole thing seemed 
like a dream to me : most wonderful, but at present 
bewildering by its great beauty. The impression 
one receives is so entirely different from that of 
any other Wagner work. " Parsifal " stands quite 
alone : nothing else can be in any way compared 
with it. I feel certain that, when I am sufficiently 
familiar with the music to form a distinct opinion, 
I shall worship it ; but at present I rather delight 



1882] LONDON 267 

in the vague general impression. The perform- 
ance was as perfect as anything in this world can 
be : it was such a one as can only be obtained, I 
imagine, under the personal direction of Wagner. 
The scenery and transformations surpass anything 
I have ever seen. All further particulars you will 
see In the papers I sent yesterday. 

I saw dear Liszt yesterday : he looks so young 
again, and fresh, and indeed quite jovial: I did 
not stay long, and of course others were there ; 
so we did not speak of you. Is he not noble ? 
He does the honours of Wagner's house from 
morning to night, and may not play the piano 
because Wagner can't stand it — (so they say, at 
least). Yesterday afternoon he was going to give 
a lesson to five pupils ! ! ! ! ! Lippi is here : 
Buonamici comes on August 10 : Ritter not here 
yet. Humberti (?) (from Antwerp) is here, and 
sends you many messages: I shall be here till 
August 8. No news of Balow, to whom I wrote 
yesterday, but Liszt said he might come here. I 
gave Btilow your address. My very best remem- 
brances to Dr. Hillebrand. I hope you have less 
rain in Lowestoft than we have here : all the 
Tonkunstler who have left their umbrellas behind 
them look preciously miserable ! 

Ever your loving affectionate 

Uncle. 

And, on July 30 : — 

Excuse a hurried note: Btilow writes from 
Meiningen that, health permitting, he hopes to 
come here for August 6. 



268 WALTER BACHE [1882 

2nd. The second " Parsifal " performance has 
made a most stupendous and convincing im- 
pression on all of us : assuredly Wagner never 
created anything grander. 

3rd. Liszt is so well and youthful : this morn- 
ing at eight I was still in bed (reading " Nana ") 
when in he walked : how ashamed I was ! 

Buonamici comes soon : no signs of Ritter. 
Some of the last performances will be suppressed, 
they say, and a big deficit will probably result, 
what a scandal ! 

Best remembrances to Dr. Hillebrand. Rain 
and cold. 

In a letter to his friend Dr. von Btllow he 
says : — 

It would be ridiculous for me to speak of the 
work itself, except to say that the impression it 
conveys is entirely different from that of any other 
Wagner work. Of course after a first performance 
I merely feel dazzled and bewildered, and very 
thankful that I am alive to hear and see such 
wonders. The performance, as far as I could 
judge, was marvellous ; the greatest duffers under 
Wagner's direction would do wonders : but then 
we had Materna — Kundry, Reichmann^— Amfortas, 
Scaria — Gurnemanz, Kindermann — Titurel, Hill 
— Klingsor, and Winkelmann — Parsifal ; perhaps 
Materna, Scaria and Hill were the most admirable, 
but all were good. 

The Blumenmddchen splendid in voices and 
action, men's chorus equally good, orchestra (Levi) 



1 882] LONDON 269 

of course good ; the stage-action I suppose we 
shall never see so perfect till the Lord sends 
another Wagner. The scenery was gorgeous, and 
the difficult transformations were most marvellous. 
I never saw anything so good and impressive : 
and what a thing the concealed orchestra is, and a 
darkened auditorium ! Without these helps a real 
illusion is impossible. After the solemn ending 
of Act L the idiots began to applaud ; and after 
Act n. they began again: then Wagner from his 
box requested them to abstain from applause : but 
after Act IIL he permitted them to applaud the 
artists, which they did for about ten minutes : 
however, no one appeared, till at last Wagner 
himself came on the stage, and said that the 
singers had " gone home." 

Liszt's own report of the Bayreuth Festival is 
contained in the following concise note : — 

To Freiherr Hans von Wolzogen. 

Bayreuthj 

Jul;j 27, 1882. 

My DEAR Freiherr, 

Both at and after yesterday's performance 
of Wagner's " Parsifal " it was the universal feeling 
that about this wonder-work it is impossible to 
speak. It has indeed struck dumb those who 
were so deeply impressed by it ; its sacred pen- 
dulum swings from the sublime to the sublimest. 

Yours ever, 
F. Liszt. 



270 WALTER BACHE [1882 

The cast this year was as follows : — 

Parsifal was played in turn by Gudehus, Jager 
and Winkelmann ; Amfortas always by Reich- 
mann ; Gurnemanz alternately by Scaria and 
Siehr ; Klingsor always by Hill ; and Kundry by 
Materna, Malten and Marianne Brandt. 

On leaving Bayreuth, Bache went directly to 
Weimar, where he spent the remainder of his 
holidays in close vicinity to, and intercourse with, 
Liszt. This appears to have been his first visit 
to Weimar ; but from this date he went there 
almost every year until the Master's death. 

Liszt's celebrated " class " has often been heard 
of, and has been delightfully described by Borodin,^ 
the Russian composer, who was a welcome visitor 
there. Every musician of note, who found himself 
in the neighbourhood of Weimar, was in the habit 
of attending these so-called '' lessons." The pupils 
were many of them the foremost pianists of the 
time: some played one day, some another, but 
each one was tacitly expected to come prepared to 
take his turn at the piano whensoever the Master 
might choose to ask him. If anyone came badly 
prepared, or who had studied in a bad school, the 
vials of the Master's wrath were poured out upon 

1 See "Alexandre Borodine," by Vladimir Stassoff, or its 
English translation, " Borodin and Liszt," by Rosa New- 
march. 



1882] LONDON 271 

him. Not that he burst forth into violent anger, 
but rather that the few words of withering sarcasm 
he let fall made the unhappy " pupil " desire, then 
and there, a miracle on his own behalf, whereby 
he might be enabled to sink through the floor, 
and be no more heard of It may be imagined 
that the ordeal of playing, not only before Liszt 
himself, but also before all that was best in the 
musical world, was no small one. In a letter to 
Herr von Btllow, Bache thus describes one of 
these meetings : — 

This is my first visit to Weimar, and I am 
enjoying it tremendously ; Liszt is so very kind 
to me, and is looking so very well and youthful : 
indeed it is a pleasure which I did not expect to 
have again in this world. The "twenty-four" 
pupils come to him three times a week, from 
4 o'clock to about 6.30: there are some really 
first-rate players amongst them ; for instance, I 
heard yesterday admirably played the Tausig- 
Strauss Valses in A, the piece by BalakirefF^ which 
you once played in London, and a very good 
performance of the " second Sonata of Chopin. 
There are some duffers amongst the ladies, and 
indeed some who deserve another visit and kicking 
downstairs from yourself. Liszt often plays 
himself; and indeed, to anyone who has learned 
in your school how to practise, I can't imagine 

1 Mily Alexiewitch Balakireff; a Russian composer of the 
"New School." 



272 WALTER BACHE [1883 

anything more improving than these meetings. 
I never was more nervous than at having to play 
before Liszt and the twenty-three colleagues : I 
don't think I need fear any public after this. 

In an account, from another source, of one of 
the receptions at " Wahnfried " this year, occurs 
the following mention of Herr Siegfried Wagner : — 

I spoke to litde Siegfried, who is a pale and 
rather interesting-looking little fellow of perhaps 
ten years or so. 

Early in 1883 the musical world was convulsed 
by the shock of Wagner's sudden death at Venice. 
He had gone thither a few months previously for 
rest and refreshment, mental and physical ; and 
report said that he was already engaged on a new 
work when so suddenly stayed by the hand of 
death. In November Liszt had joined the 
Wagners there, and had spent about a fortnight 
with them ; and a letter from him, under date 
November 20, 1882, from "Venezia la bella ; 
Palazzo Vendramin," contains the following : — 

Thank Heaven ! the Wagners and all the family 
are in perfect health. . . . My illustrious friend 
has lodged me splendidly in a spacious apartment 
of the Palazzo Vendramin, which formerly belonged 
to Madame la Duchesse de Berry. Her son, the 
Duke della Grazia, is at present the owner of it, 
and Wagner is the tenant for one year. The 



1883] LONDON 273 

beautiful furniture still bears the impress of the 
old princely rdgime, and is perfectly preserved. 
The main inhabited part of the Palazzo Vendramin 
is in the best possible condition, so that Wagner 
did not have to go to any special expense, not 
even for stoves and other requisites, which are 
often neglected. 

And again, on December 8 : — 

Here, in Palazzo Vendramin, a peaceful and 
most united family life goes on without monotony. 
But 1 cannot speak of the things which touch me 
most, except clumsily. So it is better to keep 
from doing so. 

Again, a few weeks after the blow had fallen : — 

To great grief silence is best suited. I will be 
silent on Wagner, the prototype of an initiatory 
genius. 

He died at four in the afternoon of Tuesday, 
February 13. The Times of the next morning 
wrote as follows : — 

The world is poorer by another great man. 
Richard Wagner died yesterday at Venice, in his 
seventieth year ; and thus suddenly, almost without 
warning, and in a city which, however full of 
poetical associations, is entirely alien to his genius, 
the greatest musician of our time disappears from 
the scene of his struggles and his triumphs. To 
us of the present day, whose experience of 



274 WALTER BACHE [1883 

Wagner's music is that of a theatre filled with a 
rapt and enthusiastic crowd, it is difficult to recall 
the time when his name was one to be generally 
met with derision, and when, among some classes 
in Germany, and in England as well as France, 
his musical ideas were denounced as not so much 
revolutionary as nonsensical. One has to remem- 
ber, however, how long it is since Wagner began 
to compose. It was in 1841 that he began 
" Rienzi," in Paris, and " The Flying Dutchman " 
followed immediately, while " Tannhauser," which 
remains to this day his best known opera, was 
composed in 1845. 

And the Athenczum touched upon one of the 
most important of his characteristics, when it 
said : — 

Like many another great genius, Wagner was 
in advance of his age. . . . To Wagner we owe 
the emancipation of the opera from the thraldom 
of the prima donna. After the mighty impulse 
which he has given to the art, it is inconceivable 
that the vapid libretti which were common enough 
half a century ago should hold their place on the 
modern stage. In future the poet and musician 
must stand at least approximately on a footing of 
equality in the opera. . . . We believe that in 
him who is just taken from us we have lost 
probably the greatest musical genius since Beet- 
hoven, and we may assuredly say — 

" We shall not look upon his like again." 



1883] LONDON 275 

This is not the place or opportunity to enlarge 
upon Wagner's life ; the ample Wagner-literature 
that exists provides all the details of his struggles 
and his fame ; but, for those who can read between 
the lines, what enormous significance lies in the 
few following dates ; what a history behind them ! 

1 842. " Rienzi " produced at Dresden. 

1843. "Der Fliegende Hollander" produced 

at Dresden. 
1848. The Revolution, and Wagner's exile 

from Germany. 
1850. First performance of "Lohengrin" at 

Weimar under Liszt. 
1 86 1. "Tannhauser" hissed from the Paris 

stage. 

1864. King Ludwig of Bavaria Invites Wagner 

to Munich. 

1865. "Tristan" produced at Munich under 

Balow. 
1868. " Meistersinger " produced at Munich 

under Billow. 
1870. First performance in England of a 

Wagner opera (" Der Fliegende Hol- 
lander "). 
1876. First public performance of the " Ring " 

at Bayreuth. 
1882. First performance of the "Ring" in 

London under Seidl. 
1882. First performance of "Tristan " and the 

" Meistersinger " in London under 

Richter. 
18—2 



276 WALTER BACHE [1883 

The Bayreuth performances of " Parsifal " were 
resumed this summer, though the Master-mind 
that had directed them was no longer there, though 
the Master-hand was at rest for ever. Bache paid 
a flying visit there ; and then, as irresistibly as 
the needle turns to the pole, so was he drawn 
again and yet again to the little Grand-Ducal city 
where Liszt was king. Next year it was da capo 
with Bayreuth and Weimar, with a visit to Munich 
sandwiched in between ; the " Ring " being per- 
formed there. Liszt himself did the same, and 
it must have been on this occasion that Master 
and pupil together paid a little visit to Mme. 
Sophie Menter^ at her lovely castle in the Tyrol. 
A memorial of this visit was an interesting photo- 
graphic group : Sophie Menter on the Master's 
arm ; Bache standing near ; and the " fairy- 
like castle " (as Liszt styled it) forming the 
background. 

Bache celebrated his Master's birthday this year 
(October 22) by an interesting Recital composed 
of his works exclusively, no further orchestral 
concert being given till 1885. 

In connection with the visit to Bayreuth this 
year, a little joke against Bache may be told. His 
sister, who was also there, says : — 

1 Mme. Sophie Menter, the distinguished pianist ; pupil 
of Liszt. 



1884] LONDON 277 

After calling upon Liszt, he announced his 
intention of coming to see me. When we were 
alone, Walter said to me, " You know, my dear 
child, I shall try to prevent him from coming." 
This on account of the two flights of stairs he 
would have to mount to reach my airy abode. 

Inwardly chafing, I humbly said ''Yes," as I 
always did to anything my brother Walter pro- 
posed. I think, if he had suggested my jumping 
over the moon, I should at least have expressed 
my readiness to make the attempt. 

Well, the next morning we were at the 
window directly after breakfast, my friend and I, 
for we knew that in Bayreuth Liszt paid his calls 
early. We looked up the street, we looked down 
the street ; no sign of the Master. In vain we 
watched — my heart misgave me that my brother 
had gained the day, and dissuaded Liszt from the 
fatigue. But did anyone ever know Liszt make a 
promise and not keep it .'' 

Again to the window — " Sister Anne, Sister 
Anne, do you see anyone coming ?" I forget 
whether Sister Anne was rewarded ; but in due 
course we were. 

After his visit, the cat was let out of the 
bag, and it then appeared that Walter had taken 
him to the wrong house, and up two ■pairs of 
stairs^ ere he found out his mistake. His vexa- 
tion at his own stupidity may be better imagined 
than described, the more so as Liszt did not 
allow that little contretemps to turn him from his 
purpose. 



278 WALTER BACHE [1884 

In October Bache wrote to Mr. Barry as 
follows : — 

17, Eastbourne Terrace, W., 

October 19. 
My very dear Barry, 

... I want to give a Liszt orchestral 
concert very early next year, with this pro- 
gramme : — 

1 . Marsch der heiligen drei Konige (" Christus "). 

2. P. F. Concerto E flat. 

3. Dante Symphony. 

4. " Angelus " for stringed instruments. 

5. Liszt- Weber Polonaise (P. F. and orchestra). 

6. Rakoczy Marsch (Liszt). 

Can you, as a professional matter of course, 
undertake my book for me ? I should like the 
notices to be as short as possible, and with lots of 
thematic citations. 

No. 4 I can tell you nothing of: you might 
just quote the theme, and say that, although 
Liszt wrote it for solo quartett, he allows it to be 
performed by the entire stringed orchestra, and 
kindly insisted on himself writing out a contra- 
bass part for this concert. 

No. 6. No notice : only mention that Liszt 
instrumented it many years ago, and when he 
heard that Berlioz wanted to use the March in his 
" Faust " Liszt put his score aside, and would 
neither publish it nor have it performed ; only 
since Berlioz's death and the popularization of his 
" Faust " has Liszt, at the entreaty of many 
friends, consented to publish his own version. 



1885] LONDON 279 

With one alteration — the expunging of the 
Weber-Liszt Polonaise, and in its place a second 
performance of the " Jeanne d'Arc " Scena — this 
concert took place on February 5, 1885. The 
chief interest of course centred in the Dante 
Symphony, which was given for the first time at 
these concerts. 

On January 15, 1 8 8 5, he wrote to Mr. Barry : — 

I can't go to bed without thanking you most 
heartily for your beautiful Dante notice. It is 
just the thing — not too long — but yet leads the 
Philistine, who drops in after his dinner, into a 
Dante frame of mind. Three cheers for you ! 

A visit to Weimar again this summer ; and 
this time it was the last. 

In the latter part of this year it became a 
possibility, which developed into a probability, 
and afterwards into a certainty, that Liszt would 
at length revisit England in the following year. 
The primary object of his visit was to grace with 
his presence a performance of his own Oratorio 
" St. Elizabeth," which the house of Novello was 
intending to reproduce in the spring of 1886. 
As soon as ever this visit was definitely settled, 
Liszt's admirers in London set to work to see how 
they could best honour the Master in his approach- 
ing, and what in all human probability would be 



28o WALTER BACHE [1885 

his last, visit to our shores ; and foremost amid 
their schemes of welcome was the proposal to 
found a Liszt Scholarship as a lasting memorial of 
his coming among us. Naturally much of the 
work fell on the willing shoulders of Bache, 
Writing to his sister toward the end of 1885 he 
said : — 

Dearest Child, 

Lest you should all think me dead to all 
feelings of brotherly love, I will send you one 
more line before going to bed. I have really the 
work of three men to do : 

1. To prepare two concerts at Miss Emerson's 
for the Liszt-Stiftung : write to all the artists — 
make programmes — see to proofs — send out 
programmes— je// tickets (first and last time in ray 
life) — in fact do all the work. 

2. Send out orchestral engagements for my 
own concert ; then prepare and send out pro- 
gramme. 

3. Practise my three Concertos : this is more 
than you can imagine ; today I have been 
5|- hours at the piano and seem to have done 
nothing. The Liszt Concerto I have not yet 
touched (not for four years), and can't look at it 
till next week. 

4. Get out the prospectus of the Liszt subscrip- 
tion ; in this Hipkins kindly helps me. It ought 
to be out simultaneously with concert-programme, 
but an obstacle intervenes. 



1885] LONDON 281 

I have written letters since 9 p.m. and now it 
is 12. I must even give up riding every day, 
which was doing me such good. I am not in the 
least miserable : if I keep quiet and don't worry, 
I shall get through everything all right : but I 
had made six or seven evening engagements before 
I knew what a piece of work I had, and now I 
must make no more : have today declined three. 

Shall you be at F. T.'s on January i ? 

Ever your 

W. B. 

It rains letters ! 

Writing to Bache in November, Liszt said : — 

My very dear Friend, 

Certainly your invitation takes precedence 
of all others. So choose the day that suits 
yourself, and I will appear. "Without Walter 
Bache and his long years of self-sacrificing efforts 
in the propaganda of my works, my visit to 
London were indeed not to be thought of. 

And again : — 

My very dear Friend, 

It is fixed then : Thursday, April 8, 
Ricevimento at Walter Bache's house. Enclosed 
is the letter of the Philharmonic Society, together 
with the rough copy of my reply which I send 
off today. Please observe the postscript : " If, 
in the concert at which one of my Symphonic 



282 WALTER BACHE [1885 

Poems will be performed, Mr. Walter Bache 
would play some Pianoforte composition of mine, 
that would give me great pleasure. I permit 
myself to give this simple hint without the 
slightest desire of influencing your programme, 
which it is for you to fix." 

I am quite of your opinion, dear friend. The 
accented point of my coming to London is to be 
present at the " Elizabeth " performance. It was 
this that decided my coming, and it is to be hoped 
it will be a success. . . . 

Faithfully yours, 

F. Liszt. 



XI 



LISZt's last visit to ENGLAND 



1886 

TN the middle of January a concert was held at 
the house of Miss Emerson, to help to raise 
funds for the projected Liszt Scholarship. This 
lady, at whose school Walter Bache had for some 
time been teaching, threw herself heart and soul 
into the interest of the undertaking, and generously 
lent her rooms for the occasion. The programme 
included a Beethoven Trio, played by M. de 
Pachmann, Herr Peiniger, and Mr. Howell ; 
Songs of Beethoven and Dvorak, sung (and the 
latter also exquisitely accompanied) by Mr. Shake- 
speare ; solos for violoncello, violin, and piano ; 
amongst the latter may be singled out M. de 
Pachmann's masterly rendering of one of Liszt's 
Rhapsodies. 

In February followed Bache's concert — the last 



284 WALTER BACHE [1886 

orchestral one that he ever gave. He set himself 
a most exacting programme — three pianoforte 
Concertos to play — Beethoven's third, Liszt's 
second, and Chopin's first ; with only a breathing 
space between the last two. Musicians will ap- 
preciate the strain of such a programme ; I do 
not mean to say that it has not been done before 
and since, but in nearly every such instance it will 
probably be found that the soloist was perfectly 
free of other work — a virtuoso alone, giving lessons 
but rarely or fitfully ; whereas Bache was hard at 
work as a professor from morning till night, and 
in addition was straining every nerve in preparation 
for a fitting reception of his Master on his ex- 
pected visit. 

Having decided that his own personal share in 
commemorating Liszt's approaching visit should 
take the form of a Reception to be given in his 
honour, Bache was desirous of obtaining the co- 
operation of the most distinguished musicians, 
virtuosi or otherwise, who might happen to be in 
London at that time, in a performance of his 
Master's " Angelus " for strings. With this view, 
he wrote the following circular letter : — 

March. 

Dear Sir, 

Dr. Franz Liszt has promised me the 
honour of his presence at the Grosvenor Gallery 



1886] LONDON 285 

on Thursday April 8 at 9 p.m. The following is 
the musical programme of the evening : 

1. "Angelus," for stringed instruments. 

2. Chor der Engel ("Faust"), lady students 
of the Royal Academy. 

3. Songs. 

4. Pianoforte Solo (W. Bache). 

Beyond these four works of our guest, there will 
be no other music whatsoever. 

For the performance of the " Angelus " the co- 
operation of twelve violins (ist and 2nd), four 
violas, four violoncelli and four contrabasses is 
desirable. The necessary rehearsal will take place 
at the Grosvenor Gallery, New Bond Street, at one 
o'clock on Thursday, April 8. If the artists taking 
part kindly give their punctual attendance this 
rehearsal need not detain them more than half an 
hour. 

1 now venture to suggest to yourself — that it 
will be a very great compliment to the composer of 
the " Angelus " — and one which he will not fail 
to appreciate — if you will take part in its perform- 
ance. 

My suggestion is an unusual one: but so is 
the cause prompting it : neither one nor the other 
is likely to recur. I do not ask a favour on my 
own behalf — but desire to ascertain whether you 
are able and willing to give this important help to 
our eiforts to receive Liszt with that heartiness 
and cordiality which have invariably marked his 
treatment of others. 

Assuredly, nothing could gratify him more than 



286 WALTER BACHE [1886 

the knowledge that the first artists of London had 
combined thus to welcome him ! 

I remain, dear sir, 
Yours truly, 

Walter Bache. 

P.S. If my suggestion meets with your approval 
— and if consequently the most eminent performers 
at present in London should unite for a perform- 
ance of the " Angelus " — it is evident that any 
question of precedence will be fatal to their generous 
intentions ! 

I therefore venture to suggest that the Gordian 
knot of I st and 2nd violins may be at once untied 
if one or two of our acknowledged greatest soloists 
would volunteer to play 2nd violin. 

Regarding the matter of precedence at the 
viola, 'cello and contrabass desks, there can be 
little fear but that those whose strong artistic 
feeling prompts them to come forward, will carry 
this characteristic one step further, to the avoid- 
ance of all possible perplexities. 

It is needless to say that Dr. Liszt himself, as 
well as our other guests of the evening, will 
appreciate to the full the motive which leads the 
most celebrated artists to volunteer to a subordinate 
post. 

In connection with the postscript, the reader will 
recall the jocular remark Bache made some years 
previously, about the desirability of people learning 
to play " second fiddle" on many occasions through 



1886] LONDON 287 

life. Few, however, are able to bring themselves 
to such a point of self-abnegation ! It is therefore 
a double pleasure to be able to relate that Sarasate 
was a noble exception in this instance, and met 
the proposition in the spirit in which it had been 
made. Unfortunately he was at that time in 
Madrid, whence the following hearty response 
was penned to Bache : — 

Madrid, 

6. 4. '86. 
Monsieur, 

Je regrette de tout mon coeur de me 
trouver si loin au moment ou vous fetez le grand 
Liszt. Autrement, je me serais trouvd tres honore 
d'accepter n'importe quelle mission dans votre 
orchestre. 

Hurrah for Liszt ! Eljen ! Toute I'Espagne 
artistique s'associe avec enthousiasme aux demon- 
strations de Paris et Londres en faveur de I'un des 
dieux de la Musique ! 

Votre, 
Pablo de Sarasate. 

In spite of one or two such notable disappoint- 
ments, Bache succeeded in getting a picked 
orchestra of most of the leading players in London. 

On April 3 Liszt arrived. Then followed such 
a Festival-fortnight as those who took part in it 
will never forget. Liszt had just come straight 
over from another such Festival in Paris, where he 



288 WALTER BACHE [1886 

had been the guest of Munkaczy, the painter ; yet, 
in spite of his seventy-five years, he managed in 
London to go through more than most men twenty 
years younger could have stood. I believe he did 
feel it, though he bore up well, and was too 
courteous and considerate for others to give any 
sign ; but he often looked weary, and there can 
be little wonder when we recall that three short 
months after London was fete-ing him he was 
lying upon his death-bed. The papers chronicled 
his doings from day to day ; it is therefore un- 
necessary to repeat here all that is already so 
familiar ; but various details not generally known, 
and hitherto unpublished, will be of interest here. 
The guest of the late Mr. and Mrs. Littleton 
of Westwood House, Sydenham, he arrived there 
on the evening of Saturday, April 3, when some 
hundreds of guests were already assembled to meet 
him. At his appearance in the beautiful music- 
room, he was greeted with a burst of applause. 
As this is all rather fully described in a couple of 
private letters written at the time by Constance 
Bache^ to her sister, then abroad, extracts from 
them are here quoted : — 

Liszt only arrived at Sydenham towards eight 
o'clock, and by about nine already he appeared on 

^ Apparent anomaly explained in Preface. 



1886] LONDON 289 

the balustrade that connects the music-room with 
the drawing-room ; the music-room is built down 
below, like Mr. Dannreuther's. He was greeted with 
an outburst of applause. Of course he went to 
the front of the room near the piano, and later on, 

with 's help, T succeeded in getting there too. 

Soon afterwards Walter appeared, and then played 
the piece (Handel-Liszt) which Liszt dedicated to 
him. . . . While he played, Liszt sat on the 
floor of the platform listening, and looked so 
pleased. Liszt retired early, being very tired ; 
and Walter went ofF with him, but returned later 
in the evening after Liszt had gone to bed. . . . 

Tuesday a little quiet dinner at Walter's before 
the concert {i.e., the performance of "St. Elizabeth," 
for which he had come to England). We sat 
down eight. When dinner was announced, Walter, 
smiling sweetly on us three ladies, said, " Well, I 
will take the Master down," and offered his arm 
to Liszt. Liszt smilingly put him aside, and came 
and gave his arm to me ! Of course he was quite 
right, and everything he does is so gracefully and 
beautifully done. We had a charming couple of 
hours — the happiest, I think, of the whole week, 
. . . We all went at the appointed time to the 
concert — I with an enormous basket of roses,^ 
really magnificent, tied with the Hungarian colours, 
and with my verses pinned on ; these 1 presented 
to the Master when he came in. Of course I had 
to take them back again, as he could not hold 
them, but I think they were taken to him after- 
1 In allusion to the " Rose-Miracle." 

19 



290 WALTER BACHE [1886 

wards; the joke was I had put them in Walter's 
greenhouse to keep cool and fresh, and Walter 
took Liszt in to see the greenhouse, not knowing 
anything about it, and the first thing Liszt saw 
was this. 

The lines face this page. They are surmounted 
by an inscription in Hungarian : — 

" To the Master 
Franz Liszt : 
A Welcome." 

Between the English and the Hungarian coats 
of arms are two hands clasped ; and beneath them 
is a leading motive from the " St. Elizabeth." 
The Hungarian coat of arms and inscription were 
kindly supplied by the Austrian Embassy. 

Well — the performance was splendid ; Albani 
is simply perfect as St. Elizabeth, I never heard 
anything more refined and beautifiil than her 
whole rendering of it. Liszt had to go into the 
orchestra both after the first part and at the end of 
the work, and the audience literally rose at him. 
Such a reception, such cheers and clappings ; then 
in the middle interval the Prince of Wales went 
out for him, and brought him to be introduced to 
the Princess. 

That same afternoon had been the concert and 
presentation of the Scholarship [over £\,oo6\ at 
the Royal Academy of Music, of which I can't 
tell you much, because I was not permitted to be 




TOi Bjclcome iifte, from soutljctn suttniet dims, 
Co finglonD's sljore, [time 

JlnS stretcl) glati iianis across t()e lapse of 
(Eo'tliee once more. 

11. 

^un troice too 6ecatics sroiftlY Ijaoe roUeti bf 

Since tl;ou roast fjerc ; 
JI meteor flasf)ing tl;rouglj our nortijern sltf 

Etjou tiiSst appear. 

111. 

Cl)t coming noro tne greet mitt; pleasure keen 

2inb loYol l)eart, 
21&C>ing tradition of rofjat tljou l;ast been 

<Eo roljat tl;ou art. 



Itl. 



tlo laurel can me roeaoe into tl)e croron 

Cong Y^ars cntroine, 
Itot a!)!) one Ijonour unto tl)e renown 

Zllreatif tljine ; 



Yet migljt tljeso roses roaft to tl)ee a breatl; 

®f memorY, 
Secalling ttjy fair Saint lEIijabctl; 

0f ^ungarY. 



til. 



We roelcome Ijcr, from out tljose Sa^s of ol9, 

3n song Eiioine, 
Sut tl;ec wi greet a tljousanS tl^ousant foto, 

(Elje song is tbine ! 

C.S. 



1886] LONDON 291 

there. But Mr. Hartvigson told me that Liszt's 
playing there was more beautiful than he had ever 
heard him. 

Thursday the 8 th, a private dinner to Liszt at 
the Langham Hotel, not given, as was somewhere 
reported, by the Hungarians of London, but by 
an admiring friend. The manager of the Lang- 
ham had taken quite a personal interest in it, and 
begged to be allowed to decorate the place a little ; 
so there was red carpet down the steps for us, just 
as if we were Royalty, and a crowd on each side 
to see him pass. ... I had to leave the dinner- 
table early to join Walter at the Grosvenor 
Gallery, where he asked me to help him to receive. 
Of my personal friends at the Reception I hardly 
saw any after first receiving them ; they passed 
before me as in a kaleidoscope. . . . After the 
programme was over, we got Albani (the St. 
Elizabeth) to ask Liszt to play, which he then 
did. O it was wonderful ! More of this in my next. 

Saturday the loth, a Liszt concert at the Crystal 
Palace. Liszt's pupil, Stavenhagen,^ made his 
d6but in England. Magnificent player — nice 
simple young fellow. He is going to be a great 
man, indeed he is so already, though so young 
and at present unknown. 

April 14th, " Faust " at Lyceum, with Liszt 
and party in royal box. Supper at the old " Beef- 
steak Club " with Irving and Ellen Terry after- 
wards. 

1 Herr Bernard Stavenhagen ; formerly in Weimar and now- 
settled in Munich, was one of Liszt's last and youngest pupils. 



19—: 



2 



292 



WALTER BACHE 



[1886 



April 15 th, dinner at Westwood House (sat 
down about twenty-six). Liszt played — at his 
very best — one of the " Soirees de Vienne." 



%^^h 



lIe 



etc. 



and Chopin's study in A flat major : — 



i 



P3 



i ^i:^i^-^.^4^^^-3 



a 



-i^ — i- 



j-^etc. 



and in F minor :- 



f##g^g^ 



etc. 



and other pieces, I can't quite remember now. 

^ Mr. Hipkins writes: "I remember Liszt and Walter 
beginning (four hands) with the Crusaders' March from 
' Sf. Elizabeth.' Then Liszt played, exquisitely, that ' Soiree 
de Vienne ' (Schubert), the Chopin Studies, and Chopin's 
Nocturne, Op. 32, No. 2, 



i^fe 



:gr 






etc. 



concluding with his own Fantasia on the Masaniello Taran- 
tella." 



i886] LONDON 293 

April 1 7, " St. Elizabeth " repeated at the 
Crystal Palace. Dinner with Liszt at the Alfred 
Littletons'. 

April 1 8, drove into town with the Master, and 
left him at the Brompton Oratory. To lunch at 
Baron Orczy's in Wimpole Street. The Mass 
was very long that day, so Liszt with Baron Orczy 
joined us rather late. After lunch, a crowd in the 
drawing-room to hear Liszt play. He played 
part of his Dante Symphony and a Hungarian 
Rhapsody. 

After Liszt had played, he and Walter and I 
drove off together to Mr. Boehm's studio ; the 
latter is doing a bust of the Master, which promises 
to be very fine, and Liszt had promised him a 
sitting, so we were about an hour or so there, 
while Liszt sat and smoked his cigar and chatted 
with us ; it was a most delightful hour, and you 
can fancy how interesting it was to watch 
Mr. Boehm at his work. Boehm also is a 
Hungarian, but has lived in England since he 
was quite a young fellow, and has been natural- 
ized. 

After the sitting came the long drive back to 
Westwood House, and then another big dihner, 
about twenty-six of us as before, being a return 
compliment to Irving and Miss Terry. That 
evening was, as it were, the climax of all. Liszt 
played again most divinely — not more beautifully 
than on the Thursday, but if anything more 
powerfully. He played two of the " Soirees de 
Vienne " : the one that Balow calls " Liebst du 



294 



WALTER BACHE 



[1886 



mich ?" because those words seem to go to the 
opening, questioning, phrase : 



m J.- 



4^ 



^^^„a .H,. ^=^gj^ ,..., 



Liebst du mich ? 
and this one : — 



fe*: 



m 



-T- 



^-^t^ 






Also a Polonaise of Weber's, and his " Momento 
Capriccioso." Also (a little joke, in answer to an 
anecdote I had told him in the course of the day), 
one of Cramer's Studies : — 



I 



^^^^^^^ 



etc. 



Then a Bach Fugue (see also p. 84): — 



m 



-.T'r-P- 



n^~it—m^ 






etc. 



Of this he forgot nearly half, but do you suppose 
he made a mistake ? Not a bit of it ! He simply 
joined on the end of the fugue to the beginning 
most beautifully, and this second time played it all 
through complete. It is delicious to watch him 



1886] LONDON 295 

when he gets into what, to other people, would be 
a fog — he just smiles, and you watch, wondering 
breathlessly how he is going to get out of it ; 
by some judicious turn he puts himself just where 
he intended to be, and you follow the rest of the 
course of the piece undisturbed. I forgot to say 
that he opened with the lovely Beethoven Varia- 
tions : — 



^iE^i^a 



The night at the Lyceum was a jolly one 
indeed. . . . Liszt was already in the box, as his 
party had gone up the private staircase of the 
Royal Family. When the lights turned up after 
the first act, a March of his was played, and he 
was soon recognised, and had to stand up and 
bow to everybody. The theatre was cram full, 
and it was a splendid sight. During one of the 
intervals we were taken into the royal anteroom 
for some royal-tea (N.B. no pun !). Here we had 
also to wait after the play was over, while Irving 
and Miss Terry doffed their stage paint and 
donned their "war-paint." We sat down between 
twenty and thirty to supper ; Liszt between Ellen 
Terry and Mme. Munkaczy. E. Terry is 
so naive and so fascinating that I think she would 
have had the best of it, only that unfortunately 
she does not talk anything but English, con- 
sequently Mme. Munkaczy took the wind out of 



296 WALTER BACHE [1886 

her sails. She left London last Sunday, and that 
was how it came to pass that Walter and I had 
such a happy day with the dear old man all to 
ourselves. 

It will be seen from the above extracts that the 
fortnight of Liszt's stay in England was one con- 
tinued succession of concerts, dinners and other 
reunions. The excitement of the musical world 
was at its height ; it spread amongst all classes ; 
the very cabmen talked of the " Habby Liszt " ; 
the whole air was full of the Liszt-fever. People 
did many stupid things, which in their saner 
moments they would not have dreamed of doing ; 
and many comic incidents occurred. Liszt received 
letters in which the writer, after four pages of 
description of him or her self, came to the real 
point on the fifth, in a request for a ticket to hear 
or to see Liszt; for such an opportunity it 
appeared they had spent a life-time in fruitless 
yearning, quite regardless of the fact that it was 
within their reach for a shilling. An enthusiast — 
they were all enthusiasts at the moment !— wrote 
to Walter, proposing that he and Bache should 
take the Albert Hall together and give a concert 
of Liszt's music ! Bache was equal to the occasion : 
"I shall be most happy to join you," he wrote, 
" in giving a concert of Liszt's music after he is 
gone ; we shall thus be able to test the sincerity of 



i886] LONDON 297 

people's enthusiasm." Need I add that he never 
heard another word on the subject? 

Nor was Punch behindhand in giving his meed 
of honour. In April an amusing cartoon appeared, 
entitled "The two grand old men, who divided 
the honours of last week between them." The 
sketch represents Gladstone singing " Kathleen 
Mavourneen," while Liszt plays the piano accom- 
paniment, his face beaming over with smiles. In 
May the following lines appeared (also in Punch); 
and there can be no need to seek far for the genial 
writer of them, who seems also to have been 
struck with the immense fatigues Liszt had gone 
through. 

GOOD-BYE AT THE RAILWAY STATION. 
Valedictory Ballad. 

Music by the Abbe Liszt. 

Drooping eyes and wrinkles deep, 

All from want of sufficient sleep ; 

Drowsiness wi// begin to creep. 

My boxes are ready, and, piled on high, 

All wheeled out on the platform lie. 

Good-bye, Walter. Good-bye, good-bye I 

Hush ! the train is not far away. 

" Cross via Antwerp," it seems to say; 

" Sleep all tomorrow, not wake, as today." 

Ah, there it comes ! I wonder why 

My head should ache and my throat be dry ? 

Good-bye, Bache. Good-bye, good-bye ! 



298 WALTER BACHE [1886 

What are we waiting for ? Can't you see 

I'm as tired as ever I can be ? 

Shake hands ? Again ? O deary me ! 

I cannot wait any longer, I. 

Return some day ? Perhaps. I'll try. 

Good-bye, Novello. Good-bye, good-bye ! 

{Falls asleep as train moves off?) 

People asked for tickets for the reception at 
the Grosvenor Gallery in the most brazen-faced 
manner, as though it were a public concert, instead 
of a private invitation-party of Walter Bache's, for 
which, his own rooms being inadequate, he had 
engaged these; many subterfuges were resorted 
to in order to obtain tickets, and, faute de 
mieux, they even came without an invitation. 
In spite of these slight drawbacks, everything 
went off as well as possible, and the Reception 
at the Grosvenor was quite a representative 
gathering, including amongst its numbers the 
following : — 

In the domain of Music : — Sir George Grove, 
Sir Charles Halle, Sir George Macfarren, Sir 
A. C. Mackenzie, Sir Hubert Parry, Sir Arthur 
Sullivan ; Messrs. Beringer, Dannreuther, Frits 
Hartvigson, Joachim, Lamond, Henry Leslie, 
August Manns, Vladimir de Pachmann, Carl 
Rosa ; Professor Stanford and Dr. Steggall ; 
Messrs. Cummings, Edward Lloyd and Sedley 



1886] LONDON 299 

Taylor ; Mesdames Albani, Fanny Davies, Antoi- 
nette Sterling, Anna Williams and Agnes Zimmer- 
mann. 

In Art: — Lord Leighton, Sir John Millais,^ 
Sir L. Alma Tadema, Messrs. Charles Keene, 
Rudolf Lehmann, Stacey Marks, Felix Moscheles, 
Linley Sambourne, and Miss Osborn. 

In Literature : — Messrs. Karl Blind, Robert 
Browning, F. C. Burnand, Comyns Carr and 
Alfred Forman. 

Medicine was represented by Sir James Paget 
and Sir Felix Semon. The Church by the Rev. 
Henry White, Chaplain of the Chapel Royal 
Savoy, and Chaplain to the Queen, and by the 
venerable Dr. Martineau. In addition to the 
above, there were also present the Austrian Am- 
bassador, the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, Lord and 
Lady Walter Scott, Lord Chief Justice Coleridge, 
Sir Coutts Lindsay. As there were some 400 
guests, it will be seen that the above is a mere 
outline of some of the most notable people 
present. 

The programme, faced with a beautiful portrait 
of Liszt, was formed exclusively of his works, as 
follows : — 

"Angelus" for stringed instruments. 

1 Accepted ; but, I believe, not present. 



300 WALTER BACHE [1886 

" Chor der Engel " from Goethe's " Faust." 
This was sung by students of the Royal Academy 
of Music, Bache's friend Mr. Shakespeare^ con- 
ducting. 

" Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude " for 
pianoforte, played by Bache. 

Three Songs from Schiller's "Tell," sung by 
Mr. Winch. 

At the conclusion of this short programme came 
the event of the evening, that for which everyone 
had been silently hoping and waiting.^ Looking 
back from this distance of time, and with the 
after-knowledge not then possessed, that the 
Master was so near his end, there is a touch of 
deep pathos in the recollections of that evening ; 
whilst, to those to whom Master and pupil were 
alike dear, many mingled emotions crowd the 
mind in recalling the one and only occasion on 
which the close tie that bound them to each other 
was visible to the outside world — a tie which 
lasted to the end of life, and which Death himself 
did not loosen for long. 

Just before coming to England Liszt had 
written as follows to Bache : — 

1 Mr. William Shakespeare ; tenor singer and Professor ; 
in the latter capacity especially eminent. 
^ Liszt's playing. See p. 291. 



1886] LONDON 301 

Budapest, 

February 11, 1886. 
My very dear Friend, 

They seem determined in London to push 
me to the piano. I cannot consent to this in 
public, as my seventy-five-year-old fingers are no 
longer suited to it; and Bfilow, Saint-Saens, 
Rubinstein, and you, dear Bache, play my com- 
positions much better than my humble self. 

Perhaps it would be opportune if friend HuefFer 
would have the kindness to let the public know, 
by a short announcement, that Liszt only ventures 
to appear as a grateful visitor, and neither in 
London nor anywhere else as a man with an 
interest in his fingers. 

In all friendship yours, 

F. Liszt. 



XII 

BAYREUTH, LONDON, THE END 
1886 

T ISZT left England on April 20, and on the 
23 rd Bache wrote as follows to his friend 
Mr. Hipkins : — 

Dearest Hip, 

I don't think I can be surprised ever again 
at any kindness that arrives from No. 33.^ So I 
can only thank you very much for the piano which 
was sent for me to Westwood House. Before 
leaving, Liszt spoke in detail of the Broadwood 
which he played upon on Thursday evening at 
Westwood House : he said he liked playing on it 
because it lent itself so well to different shades 
and nuances, on which he professes to be now 
entirely dependent for producing musical effect, 
for he says he has no longer any fingers for 
difficulties. 

1 33, Great Pulteney Street (Broadwoods' firm). 



1886] BAYREUTH 303 

Writing in May from Weimar to a friend, 
Liszt said: — 

I shall not pass this summer much quieter than 
the winter and the spring. Next week I shall be 
at the Musical Festival at Sondershausen ; then 
here again until June 30. My grand-daughter, 
Daniela von Billow, is to be married on July 3, 
at Bayreuthj to the highly esteemed art-historian 
Thode. After that, I shall stay from July 5 to 18 
with my dear excellent friends the Munkaczys, at 
their castle of Colpach (Luxemburg). I shall be 
present at the entire cycle of the " Parsifal " and 
"Tristan" performances at Bayreuth, from July 20 
till August 23. 

I am already more than half blind ; perhaps I 
shall not have to wait long for the rest. . . . 

All the Liszt letters hitherto quoted are from 
the two volumes published in 1 894. The following 
one, which has never yet been printed, having been 
found only recently, will be read with interest 
here : — 

To Walter Bache. 

Weimar, 

12 7a«/, 1886. 

Geehrter, lieber Freund, 

Madame verlangt ziemlich viel. 

Mein AugenUbel behindert mich am Schreiben, 
und ob ich nach Besserung desselben gestimmt 
sein werde, Romancen zu componiren — erscheint 



304 WALTER BACHE [1886 

mir zweifelhaft. Theilen Sie ihr meine Bangig- 
keit mit. . . . 

Die englischen Biscuits von der ganz rechten 
Sorte finden nach meinem Beispiele allgemeinsten 
Beifall in der pianistischen Colonic Weimars. 

HofFentlich trefFen wir uns wieder bei den 
ersten Vorstellungen (23 Juli) in Bayreuth. 

Ob es mir die widerwartige, aber verordnete 
Badekur erlaubt, langer als etwa bis 6 August in 
Bayreuth zu verbleiben — ist unbestimmt, 

Herzlich ergebenst, 

F. Liszt. 

N.B. An Buonamici besten Gruss und freund- 
schaftliches Gedenken. 

Translation. 

Weimar, 

June 12, 1886. 

Honoured and dear Friend, 

Madame asks a good deal. The 

weakness of my eyes prevents me from writing ; 
and whether, when they are better, I shall feel in 
the mood for composing Romances, appears to me 
doubtful. Express my uncertainty to her. 

The English biscuits of the right sort are, thanks 
to my example, universally approved in the pianist- 
colony of Weimar. 

I hope we shall meet again at the first perform- 
ances (July 23) in Bayreuth. 

Whether the unwelcome water-cure which has 
been prescribed for me will allow of my remaining 



1886] BAYREUTH 305 

in Bayreuth longer than about August 6, is not 
decided. 

Yours, from my heart, 

F. Liszt. 

N.B. Best greetings and friendly remembrances 
to Buonamici. 

This letter was dictated to one of his secretaries, 
and only the words " herzlich ergebenst," and the 
signature, in a trembling and shaky handwriting, 
were added by Liszt. This was, in all probability, 
one of the very last letters he wrote. The refer- 
ence to Signor Buonamici was occasioned by a 
visit to England of that genial virtuoso, who was 
staying in the same house with Bache at this time. 

In spite of the tempting suggestion that they 
should meet in Bayreuth, Bache was obliged to 
resist it. The expenses of entertaining Royalty 
are often so severe a tax as to lay an embargo on 
the honour of so doing ; and the same may be 
said in the case of the King of musicians. Not 
that Liszt himself would have had it so : no man 
ever lived who was more simple in his own 
personal wants, or who was more strictly scrupu- 
lous in his anxiety not to entail expense on others : 
it is only necessary to read his letters to see how 
considerate and punctilious he was in this respect ; 
but it was London's honour to honour him, and 
20 



3o6 WALTER BACHE [1886 

it was but natural that Bache should be foremost 
in this desire. But doubtless it was this that 
kept him in England this summer ; or rather, that 
would have done, had events been otherwise. 

On July I Liszt betook himself to Bayreuth 
for the above-mentioned wedding ; immediately 
after that came another wearying journey back to 
Colpach in the Luxemburg; on the 20th back 
again to Bayreuth, where it was his intention to 
stay till August 7. But, at his great age, even 
his iron constitution was not proof against the 
effects of a chill ; and after a few days of what at 
first seemed but a slight indisposition his state 
became serious, and on July 31 he passed peace- 
fully away. 

This was on Saturday night : with unseemly 
haste the funeral was fixed for the following 
Tuesday. So suddenly was all arranged, that 
there was not even time for some of his nearest 
and dearest to be present to pay their last tribute 
to his mortal remains. Bache was summoned 
without an instant's delay, by a telegram from his 
sisters, who were there. Mr. Klindworth received 
a similar summons ; and by starting immediately 
they — together with Mr. Alfred Littleton, who 
was commissioned to lay a wreath from the Queen 
of England on Liszt's grave — arrived in bare 
time to join the cortege just starting from 



1886] BAYREUTH 307 

Wahnfried. They had not even time to change 
their travelling gear, but, tired and dusty as they 
were, had perforce to go direct from the railway 
station to the house of mourning. Bache's own 
letters will best tell the rest. 

To Mme. Hillebrand. 

Hillside, Kingsbury, 

August 25, 1886. 

In reply to your letter, received this morning, 
I can't exactly carry out your wishes, because I saw 
so little of what took place at Bayreuth : what I 
saw, I will tell you, and I will send you a letter 
of Buonamici, and a letter and two papers 
from Mme. Tardieu. 

I left London on August i, immediately after 
receiving Constance's telegram, and got to 
Bayreuth as soon as possible : viz., 9.45 on 
Tuesday morning : there my sister Margaret met 
me at the railway, and told me to leave luggage, 
and go at once to Wahnfried, as the funeral had 
just been fixed for ten o'clock. I got there just 
in time to see the coffin carried out of the house : 
the cemetery is quite at the other end of the town : 
the procession was all that could be desired : 
shops were shut ; black flags were waving, and 
the street lanterns were lighted and draped with 
crape : at the grave itself I could not get near 
enough to hear the speeches. This is all the good 
I can tell you. 
20 — 2 



3o8 WALTER BACHE [1886 

At 12.30, being faint for want of food, I went 
with Klindworth to an hotel : there we came into 
a room with a lot of singers, etc., and the jokes, 
shouting and drinking were so shocking that I left 
the place after eating what was necessary : I sat 
on a bench outside the hotel : then Richter sent 
for me to come in, and then he made his speech : 
with this one exception there was nothing to tell 
us that we had suffered any loss ; the indifference 
of the musical world was fearful. 

Until Monday, August 2, it was not even 
decided that the funeral should be at Bayreuth : 
and then it was fixed for Tuesday morning early. 
None of Liszt's old pupils were there ! no Btllow, 
Priickner,^ Rubinstein ; only Klindworth, to 
whom Constance had telegraphed. This is all I 
can tell you, and it is sad to tell. All the young 
pupils except D'Albert were there ; and he never 
had the news till too late to come. Siloti, 
Friedheim, Stavenhagen, Reisenauer, Weingartner 
were present. . . . 

Now good-bye, my dear friend, to whom I owe 
the greatest privilege of my life — the honour and 
happiness of having known the great Hero, for 
this he was. Indeed it is no sentimental exaggera- 
tion to say that his life was one of self-sacrifice 
and self-renunciation : if you consider what he 
was as a composer, what he knew himself to be, 
and how even his " friends " treated him, you 

1 Dionys Pruckner, 1834-1896 ; distinguished pianist and 
Professor at the Stuttgart Conservatorium ; one of the earlier 
pupils of Liszt. 



1886] LONDON 309 

will agree with me. Callander was at the funeral ; 
also Alfred Littleton, who travelled with me. 
Ever your affectionate 

W. B. 

Another letter to the same friend, about the 
same time, contains the following : — 

Of what we all have so much at heart just now, 
I scarcely feel inclined to speak : it is too hard to 
realize : but it was certainly better now : if his 
life had been spared, it seems certain that he 
would have had to support the affliction of 
blindness, partial or total ; and the attack of 
dropsy which he suffered this summer would 
surely have led to other complications. What 
has been our loss has been his gain : his courage 
was marvellous : of this last, Buonamici wrote me 
a most touching account. The calmness with 
which he looked forward to blindness, or death, or 
whatever might happen, was really majestic. 

I have been so thankful to get back here to 
quiet and solitude, which I much desired. The 
happiness I have had since my return, from his 
music, is greater than I can tell you of I am 
just studying a really representative work of his, 
" Apres une lecture de Dante " : you doubtless 
know it well : I knew it somewhat, but have 
never studied it till now : it is a piece which must 
be known well to be understood. 

Well — I suppose we both of us begin to look 
forward to the time when we shall also take the 



3IO WALTER BACHE [1886 

long journey ! I hope we may yet have many 
happy days here : for myself I don't feel at all 
broken-hearted ; but still I do look forward with 
some degree of pleasure to the change. 

To his sister he wrote on August 1 5 : — 

Hillside, Kingsbury Green, N.W. 

. . . Regarding myself — I do want to tell you 
how very happy I have been since I have broken 
the ice and begun to work without interruption : 
naturally I have principally inclined towards the 
works of him whom we have lost ; it has made 
me so happy to feel, as I do, that all he could give 
us is here. He died without much suffering : 
had he lived another ten years he could have 
given us nothing more ; and he might himself 
have deteriorated. Therefore I begin to feel that 
it was better now than had it been deferred to the 
chances of the future. 

His work is all with us ; and our work — ^to 
make his known — is clear, and will be easier as 
personal feelings regarding him, whether friendly 
or the reverse, die out. I am glad I came straight 
home, as I could never have got into this frame 
of mind without two essentials — a piano and com- 
parative solitude. ... I only give you this 
egotistical description because I hope that some- 
thing of the same ideas may have been present to 
Connie and yourself now that you are quiet and 
alone. . . . 

No news can be expected from Kingsbury : it 



1886] LONDON 311 

is quite out of the world (thank goodness). I 
began " Felix Holt " to-day : the wit of the early- 
chapters (on questions of religion and politics) is 
marvellous : one must read it attentively in order 
not to lose anything. 

My poor horse went down yesterday and cut 
its knees : I don't think it is my fault : I think 
he (Professor Dumpling is his name) is getting 
old : he may be good in harness for some years, 
but I don't think he can be trusted much for 
hacking. 

You will think I am getting old and silly when 
I tell you I have ventured on to what the Germans 
call the Eselsweise} This morning was fine and 
warm, and I had the day before me : the news- 
paper contained a case of householder versus 
barrel-organ : the magistrate, according to my 
view, didn't know his work. So I have written 
a philippic which will make him tremble in his 
tomb : if they put it in, I will send it to you. 
But these are holiday stupidities : don't think I 
shall commit them when work begins again. 

As will be seen from these letters, Bache met 
his greatest bereavement with manly fortitude, 
and did not intend to let himself be unduly cast 
down by it. All the same, I have always thought 
that Liszt's death was Bache's death-blow, strive 
against it as bravely as he might : the great joy of 
life was over for him, although he felt strongly 

1 Mania for writing letters to the newspapers. 



312 WALTER BACHE [1886 

the duty that devolved on him of making his 
Master's music more than ever known. This 
autumn his customary Recital was omitted ; but 
the Crystal Palace concert of Saturday October 23 
was especially arranged in commemoration of 
Liszt's birthday (which was the 22 nd), by a pro- 
gramme opening with the Funeral March from 
" Gotterdammerung," and including the Vor spiel 
to " Parsifal," every other item being from the 
works of Liszt. Bache was the pianist on this 
occasion, playing Liszt's A major Concerto, and 
the bold and piquant " Fantasia on Hungarian 
Melodies," also with orchestra. 

On February 21, 1887, Bache gave a Recital, 
including in it for the first time Liszt's " Fantasia 
quasi Sonata, apres une lecture de Dante," 
mentioned a few pages back. Also the two- 
pianoforte arrangement of Liszt's " Mazeppa," 
played on this occasion by Mr. Frits Hartvigson 
and the concert-giver. 

The last Recital Bache ever gave was on 
October 22 of this same year, when, in com- 
memoration of his Master's birthday, the pro- 
gramme consisted entirely of Liszt's works. It 
included one piece never before given at these 
concerts, namely the " Sposalizio," written in 
musical illustration of Raphael's excLuisite picture 
of that title. The programme contained an 



1887] LONDON 313 

engraving of the immortal work which hangs in 
the Brera Gallery at Milan. 

On October 31 |Sir George Macfarren^ died, at 
the ripe age of seventy-four, having been born the 
same year as Wagner. His loss was a genuine 
sorrow to Bache, who had worked alongside of 
him for some years at the Royal Academy, of 
which Sir George had been President about twelve 
years at the time of his death. Like the late 
Professor Fawcett, M.P., he was an example of the 
triumph of mind over matter. Both men, afflicted 
with blindness, nevertheless attained to the highest 
honours in their respective professions, and thus 
afford a cheering stimulus to the many who, 
through some accident or contretemps of Nature, 
may feel tempted to throw up the sponge in 
despair. 

Writing to Mr. Barry the day after this sad 
event had taken place, Bache said : — 

About our dear old Mac : it is a very great 
loss, and to me personally something of a grief : 
I respected him very much, and also liked him. 
He filled a very difficult ■positton very well. 

In January 1888, Bache, himself a member of 
the English Goethe Society, undertook the getting 

1 Sir George Alexander Macfarren, 1813-1887; Professor 
and composer ; late Principal of the Royal Academy of 

Music. 



314 WALTER BACHE [1888 

up of a performance of Liszt's music to Goethe's 
" Faust." This work, of which he had already 
given two orchestral performances, was on this 
occasion played by himself and Mr. HenscheP on 
two pianos. Mr. Shakespeare took the tenor 
solo, and there was a chorus of male voices. 
Apart from the ostensible reasons for the choice 
of this work, than which nothing could have been 
more suitable for the occasion, Bache had an 
ulterior motive, namely, the hope of interesting 
Mr. Henschel in the work sufficiently to induce 
him to include it in one of the series of orchestral 
concerts which he for many years conducted in 
London. This hope, which Bache had very near 
at heart, has unhappily never been realized. It is 
enough to look back to the " orchestral letters " 
of Edward Bache, written some five-and-thirty 
years previously, to see that we march slowly in 
these matters here, and to see also that "orchestral 
concert " spells " ruin " to the private entre- 
preneur, and "subservience" to him who is backe4 
by a committee. 

Apropos of this performance, which took place 
at Queen's Gate Hall, Kensington, Bache wrote as 

1 Mr. Georg Henschel ; baritone singer, pianist, con- 
ductor, composer ; founded the " London Symphony Con- 
certs"; for three years conductor of the Boston (U.S.A.) 
Symphony Orchestra ; has attained eminence in all these 
branches. 



i888] LONDON 315 

follows to Mme. Hillebrand just after the "Wagner- 
Liszt Correspondence " had been published : — 

17, Eastbourne Terrace, 

Hyde Park, W., 

January 25, 1888, 

I am sure that our thoughts have been in the 
same groove during the last weeks : what a sublime 
book — this "Wagner -Liszt Correspondence"! 
And is there one of us (even your dear self) who 
does not it^L guilty of having sometimes judged 
the great Departed unjustly, even impertinently, 
according to our small views, and not in harmony 
with his much greater ones? I allude to many 
small matters which we put down to weakness, 
old age, etc., which now appear to me as parts of 
his enormous and unflinching plan of self-abnega- 
tion, in which he had reached a height that is 
almost incomprehensible to us. If you think I 
exaggerate, tell me when next we meet : I long to 
talk with you about it. 

I sent you a little programme last week, merely 
because the small affair gave me great pleasure : 
we had an audience of about 250, which followed 
with real interest, and even enthusiasm. They 
are now anxious for another performance with 
orchestra. / cannot give it, but hope to make 
Henschel do it next year, in which case I may do 
something to prevent his having bad financial 
results. 

This concert was Bache's last public appearance. 
In February he had the happiness of welcoming 



3i6 WALTER BACHE [1888 

his old friend Dr. (now Sir Alexander) Mackenzie^ 
to the post of Principal of the Royal Academy of 
Music, where the mutual hope was expressed of 
working many years side by side. 

On March 6 Mr. A. J. Hipkins, one of the 
greatest living authorities on the old instruments, 
gave to the students of the Royal Academy of 
Music a Recital on the Clavichord, Spinet, Harp- 
sichord, and the Grand Pianoforte of the present 
day. This drew from Bache the following enthu- 
siastic and characteristic letter : — 

17, Eastbourne Terrace, 

Hyde Park, W., 

March 7. 
Dearest Hip, 

Indeed I owe you a very great pleasure, and 
feel very grateful for it. I was most strangely and 
delightfully impressed and surprised by the Bach 
Prelude. I thought myself for the moment in 
fairyland ! With the Fantasia Cromatica my feel- 
ing was rather one of surprise that Bach could 
have conceived such impassioned music for such an 
inadequate instrument ; but how well you played 
it ! I really didn't know you were such a swell ! 
The Spinet division^ made me prouder of my 
countrymen (including A. J. H.) than I have been 
for a long time : the instrument was pleasant, and 

1 Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie ; violinist, Pro- 
fessor, composer, conductor ; present Principal of the Royal 
Academy of Music. 

2 This consisted of the compositions of old English writers. 



1 888] LONDON 317 

the music ditto : you must let me know, when we 
meet, whether these three pieces are published. 

The tone of the Harpsichord, especially with 
that octave stop, was less sympathetic to me, 
although it was more powerful. After the first 
Couperin piece I had to leave, and had a great 
pleasure in a not very finished performance of the 
"Tasso."^ I do wish you had heard it ! It made 
a decided success in a rather empty room. It is 
a grand work : if you look at it through a 
microscope you can see stitches and patches 
perhaps ; I am fully alive to all that ; but Pro- 
fessor Brahms, with all his great gifts and masterly 
workmanship, will never produce such a work if 
he lives a hundred years. It made me blubber 
like blazes, and sent me home happy. 

More about your Recital when we meet : I 
have not had such a musical evening as last 
night for very long : I am sure all the R.A. 
students appreciated your kindness. T wish you 
could repeat it. 

Apart from personal friendship, I am sure we 
have the right man in Mackenzie,^ and I am very 
happy about it. 

In less than three weeks from the date of this 
letter, Bache had passed away. A chill and an 

1 At one of the " Symphony Concerts." 

2 This occasion was the first appearance of Sir A. C. 
Mackenzie as Principal of the RAM. ; hence the above 
remark. 



3i8 WALTER BACHE [1888 

ulcerated throat, such as a robust man would have 
easily shaken off, proved too much for his over- 
worked and highly-strung nature; on March 23 
he was teaching, as usual, at the Academy ; on the 
24th followed private lessons at home; on the 
26th he was gone. 

Humble to a fault as to what he had been able 
to achieve, fully alive to the insufficiency of his 
own mortal powers adequately to express all that 
he felt in his soul, the following lines embody 
what I believe he must have sometimes thought, 
as exemplified in his own concerts, where he always 
endeavoured to choose the best exponent of any 
great work of his adored master, quite regardless 
of whether that exponent happened to be himself, 
or another : — 

Dwells within the soul of every artist 
More than all his effort can express ; 
And- he knows the best remains unuttered ; 
Sighing at what we call his success. 

Vainly he may strive ; he dare not tell us 
All the sacred mysteries of the skies : 
Vainly he may strive ; the deepest beauty 
Cannot be unveiled to mortal eyes. 

And the more devoutly that he listens, 
And the holier message that is sent, 
Still the more his soul must struggle vainly. 
Bowed beneath a noble discontent. 




^/ir hUi 



1888] LONDON 319 

No musician ever held your spirit 
Charmed and bound in his melodious chains. 
But be sure he heard, and strove to render, 
Feeble echoes of celestial strains.^ 

That his unselfish devotion to the cause to 
which his life had been dedicated was fully and 
generously acknowledged by his fellow-musicians 
and other friends, is beautifully shown, firstly, in 
the words of the Principal of the Royal Academy, 
in his address to the students early in the May 
following Bache's death. Of this speech, the last 
two sentences are quoted here : — 

Unselfishness, honesty, truthfulness, tender- 
heartedness, generosity even to rashness : these are 
some of the virtues which we were accustomed to 
attribute to the knights of old, and they were his. 
.,-In him there was something more than a mere 
touch of the true knight " without fear and with- 
out reproach " ; and a fine and sensitive artist, as 
well as a most noble man, was lost to us when 
Walter Bache passed unexpectedly away from our 
midst. 

Secondly, in the founding of a Scholarship in 
Bache's name and memory, which, in deference to, 
and ready appreciation of, what he himself would 
best have liked, was made subsidiary to the Liszt 
Scholarship founded two years previously. A sum 

1 " Unexpressed," by Adelaide Anne Procter. 



320 WALTER BACHE [1888 

of rather more than ^^500 was speedily collected, 
and added to the parent fund, which henceforth 
bears the title : — 

" THE LISZT-BACHE SCHOLARSHIP."^ 

* tF tF tP tF 

Heaven-born genius is a gift from God ; and 
next to that, assuredly, we may place the genius of 
hard — still more, of unremitting — work. 

To other executants, especially to the younger 
ones, who perhaps have not as yet formed any 
definite plan of work, it may be of interest to 
know how strictly Bache kept his " debtor and 
creditor " account of his own practising. At the 
end of his last diary is made out an exact calcula- 
tion of what he had done in the aggregate from 
the years 1875 ^o 1887, with 1888 already 
sketched in, with the space left to be filled after- 
wards. It was his habit to jot down in the margin 
of the diary how much practice he had done each 
day, and the last entry is two hours on March 24, 
two days only before his death. 

Amongst very many truly appreciative notices 
of his life and death, it is enough to quote here a 

1 It is gratifying to note that the first student to obtain this 
scholarship was a pupil of Walter Bache's at the R.A.M., 
Miss Grace Henshaw (now Mrs. Frederiksen). 



1888] LONDON 321 

couple of sentences which, like an instantaneous 
photograph, present to us a picture perfect in its 
truthfulness : — 

Walter Bache's devotion to Liszt was one of the 
most beautiful and the most sentimental things of 
a musically material age. 

We can only wish that among his survivors 
there were a few more like him in his devotion, 
his uprightness, and unselfishness. 



21 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF ALL THE 

ORCHESTRAL WORKS OF LISZT GIVEN AT 

WALTER BACHE'S CONCERTS. 

First Orchestral Concert, May 26, 1871 : 

Les Preludes. 
First Concerto. 

Conductors : Mr. Dannreuther and Bache. 

Second Orchestral Concert, March 21, 1872 : 

Festklange. 
Les Preludes. 
Weber-Liszt Polonaise. 

Conductors : Mr. Manns and Bache. 

Third Orchestral Concert, February 28, 1873 : 

Thirteenth Psalm. 

Chorus of Reapers (from " Prometheus "). 

Conductors : Mr. Manns and Bache. 

Fourth Orchestral Concert, November 27, 1873 : 

Tasso. 

Orpheus. 

Schubert-Liszt Fantasia. 

Weber-Liszt Polonaise. 

March : " Vom Fels zum Meer." 

Conductor : Dr. Hans von Bulow. 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE 323 

Fifth Orchestral Concert, February 25, 1875 : 

Festklange. 

Second Concerto. 

Weber-Liszt Polonaise. 

Chorus of Reapers (from "Prometheus"). 

Soldatenlied (from " Faust "). 

Thirteenth Psalm. 

Conductor : Dr. Hans von Biilow. 

Sixth Orchestral Concert, February 24, 1876 : 
The Legend of St. Elizabeth. 
Conductor : Bache. 

Seventh Orchestral Concert, February 27, 1877 : 

Mazeppa. 
Les Preludes. 
Second Concerto. 
Loreley. 

Conductor : Mr. Manns. 

Eighth Orchestral Concert, February 19, 1878 : 

Orpheus. 

Fantasie fiber Ungarische Volksmelodieen. 

Jeanne d'Arc au bficher. 

Conductor : Mr. Manns. 

Ninth Orchestral Concert, February 25, 1879 : 

Mazeppa. 

Rhapsodie Hongroise (No. 4). 

Conductor : Mr. Manns. 

Tenth Orchestral Concert, March 11, 1880 : 

A Faust Symphony (first performance in 
England). 

Conductors : Mr. Manns and Bache. 
21 — 2 



324 CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE 

Eleventh Orchestral Concert, March 2, 1882 : 

A Faust Symphony. 

Fest Marsch (zur Goethe Feier). 

Mephisto-Walzer. 

Conductor : Bache. 

Twelfth Orchestral Concert, February 5, 1885 : 

Dante. 

First Concerto. 

Angelus. 

Rakoczy March. 

Jeanne d'Arc au bucher. 

March : " Die heiligen drei Konige." 

Conductors : Mr. Dannreuther and Bache. 

Thirteenth Orchestral Concert, February 8, 1886 ; 
Second Concerto. 
Conductor : Mr. Dannreuther. 



INDEX 



Addison, 14, 15, 73, 74 

Aikin, 72, 74 

Albani, Mme., 290, 291, 299 

Albertini, 92, 93, 96 

Alboni, 131 

Allen, 253, 254 

Ames, Mrs., 40, 128 

Andre, 95 

Arditi, 201 

Arnold, 128 

Asantschewsky, M. von, 143, 

151, 173, 180, 181, 192, 193 
Ashdown, 126-128 
Atry, 155 
Auber, 55 
Augener, 51, 104, 126-128 

Bach, 20, 84, 141, 165, 169, 197, 
199, 214, 215, 222, 237, 294, 
316 

Bache, Rev. S., 7, 88, 128, 182 

Baker, 228 

Balakireff, 271 

Balfe, 27 

Barham, Foster, 7, 10, 23, 41, 79, 
96, 127 

Barnett, John, 140 

Barnett, the Misses, 140-142 

Barnett, Domenico, 144 

Barry, 84, 85, 260, 278, 279, 313 

Barth, 76 

Beethoven, 3, 16, 22, 24, 26, 28, 
30, 32-34, 81-83, 88, 96, 132, 
134, 141, 173, 177, 188, 195, 
199, 214, 215, 227, 237, 251, 
257, 263, 274, 283, 284, 295 

Bell, 61 



Bell, Miss, 127 

Belletti, 131 

Bellini, 12, 23, 47, 96, 133 

Belper, Lord, 28 

Bennett, Sir W. S., 4, 6, 16, 19, 

21, 22, 27, 55, 73, 126, 137 
Bennett, J. R. Sterndale, 19 
Benson, Archbisbop, 228 
Berger, 21-23, 27, 28, 34, 43, 50, 

51, 54, 75, 126 
Berlioz, 23, 26, 36, 82, 203, 222, 

278 
Beringer, 298 
Berry, Mme. la Duchesse de, 

272 
Bertini, 231 
Betz, 252 
Black, 100 
Blind, Carl, 299 
Blum, 237 

Blumenthal, 150, 227 
Blyth, 29 

Boehm, Sir J. E., 293 
Borghi-Mamo, 52 
Borodin, 26, 270 
Bosio, 52 

Bote and Bock, 163 
Bottesini, 227 
Bowring, 7 
Brahms, Dr., 239, 317 
Brandt, 270 

Brazil, Emperor of, 247 
Breadalbane, Marquis of, 173 
Brendel, 26 

Broadwood, 51, 77, 100, 214,302 
Browning, Robert, 299 
Bulow, H. von, 26, 55, 104, 131, 



326 



INDEX 



148, 156, 163, 164, 195, 199. 
203, 205, 206, 209-211, 214-218, 

225, 226, 230, 237, 239, 240, 
256, 257, 259-262, 267, 268, 
271, 275, 294, 301, 308, 322, 
323 

Biilow, Daniela von, 303 
Buonamici, 148, 225, 231, 234, 
247, 267, 268, 304, 305, 307, 

309 
Burdett-Coutts, the Baroness, 

299 
Burnand, F. C, 299 
Burns, 104 
Buti, Signora, 127 
Byron, Lady, 7 

Callander, 167, 187, 202, 208, 

309 
Campbell, Dr., 261 
Campbell and Ransford, 14 
Carr, Comyns, 299 
Carrodus, 8 
Chance, 103 
Chase, 127 
Cherubini, 148 
Chopin, 26, 75, 76, 80, loi, 133, 

141, 162, 166, 173, 197, 199, 

226, 230, 237, 255, 263, 271, 
284, 292 

Chorley, 39, 40 

Christina, Queen, 96 

dementi, ig6 

Cramer, 260, 294 

Coates, 127 

Cobb, 7 

Coleridge, Lord Chief Justice, 

299 
CoUard, 195 
Cornelius, 31, 257-259 
Cornelius, Frau Professor, 247 
Costa, 46, 92 
Costaggini, 127 
Couperin, 317 
Cummings, Dr., 299 
Cushman, 93, 157 
Cusins, Sir "W. G., 188 
Czartoryska, Princess, 173 
Czerny, 88-90, 104, 132, 173, 

260 



D'AIbert, 308 
Damrosch, Dr., 255 
Dannreuther, 187, 189, 197-200, 

204, 205, 209, 239, 289, 298, 

322, 324 
Dante, 309, 312 
Daubert, 208 
David, 132, 135, 136, 163 
Davies, Miss Fanny, 64, 299 
Davison, 185, 238 
Deichmann, 54, 55, 57, 64, 65, 

75, 131, 208 
Dendy, 68 
Dickens, 20, 22 
Dolby, 55, 99, 128 
Donizetti, 12, 25, 34, 35, 42, 96, 

193 
Doppler, 261 

Downshire, Marchioness of, 126 
Draseke, 237 
Dumas, 257 
Dupont, 136 
Dvorak, 283 

Edwards, 200 
Ehlert, 175, 181 
Emerson, Miss, 280, 283 
England, Queen of, 306 
Evans, Dr. Sebastian, 103 
Evans, 128 

Fawcett, Professor, 313 
Field, 76 

Flavell, 64, 126, 137, 138 
Fletcher, 128 
Flower, 7 

Fontanier, D. de, 195 
Forman, Alfred, 299 
Formes, 11 
Franchomme, 173 
Frege, 55, 104, 127 
Friederici, 55 
Friedheim, 308 
Frood, 190 
Furino, 172 

Gade, 199 

Garcia, Gustave, 148, 186, 187, 

189, 195 
Garcia, Viardot-, 133, 136, 212 



INDEX 



327 



Gaskell, Mrs., 93 

Gassier, 52 

Germany, Emperor of, 247 

Gibson, 157 

Gladstone, Right Hon. W. E., 

297 
Goddard, Mme. A., 10, 26, 127 

128, 187 
Goddard, Rev., 156 
Goethe, 49,, 129, 196, 264, 300, 

313. 314, 324 
Grazia, Duke della, 272 
Grevel and Co., 242 
Grisi, II, 12, 142 
Grove, Sir George, 141, 29S 
Gudehus, 270 

Gully, Right Hon. W. C, 7 
Gura, 252 
Gurckhaus, 55 

Hahn, 266 
Halevy, 12 
Halle, Sir Charles, 26, 55, 209, 

298 
Handel, 33-35, 50, 138, 289 
Harrison, 128 
Hartvigson, 195, 197, 199, 200, 

204, 2og, 211, 212, 247, 290, 

298, 312 
Hatzfeld, 127, 128 
Hauptmann, 21, 22, 24, 32, 33, 

35. 39-41. 45.50, 51, 132, 134 
Hauptmann, Mrs., 135 
Hausmann, 14, 185 
Haydn, 33 
Hayes, 8 
Heap, Dr., 222 
Heller, 80 
Henshaw, 320 
Henschel, 314, 315 
Henselt, A. von, 199, 212, 214 
Herz, 53 

Hill, H. Weist, 128 
Hill, Karl, 252, 268, 270 
Hillebrand, Dr. Karl, 267, 268 
Hillebrand, Mme. (see Laussot) 
Hiller, Ferdinand von, 84 
Hipkins, 51, 100, loi, 154, 173, 

183, 198, 200, 235, 280, 292, 

302, 316 



Honey, 92 

Hopwood and Crew, 126 
Hoskier, Mdlle., 127 
Hosmer, Miss, 157 
Howell, 283 
Hueffer, Dr., 243, 301 
Humberti, 267 
Hummel, 77, 88 
Husson, Mme., 128 

Ingram, 33, 36, 45, 51, 56, 73, 

75. 83, 91, 93, 126-128, 180 
Irving, Sir Henry, 291, 293, 295 

Jackson, 127 

Jaell, 137 

Jager, 270 

Joachim, Dr., 132, 134, 139, 170, 

187, 212, 256, 298 
JuUien, 30, 133 

Kaulbach, 31 

Keene, 299 

Kelly, 126 

Kindermann, 268 

Kistner, 37, 51, 54, 55, 71, 75, 

76, 88, 8g, 95, 97, 98, loi, 128, 
131. 135. 146 

Kistner, Mdlle. Elizabeth, 127 
Klindworth, 197-200, 204, 212, 

229, 240, 247, 255, 256, 263, 

306, 308 
Kuhe, 127 
Kiimpel, 198-200 

Lablache, 12, 92 

Lamond, 298 

Lanner, 36 

Lassen, 203 

Lasserre, 260 

Laussot, Mme., 148-152, 158, 
159, 161, 164-168, 170, 172, 
174-178, 181, 183, 186, 187, 
189, 192, 201, 208, 214, 238, 
243, 254, 256, 259, 266, 307, 

314. 315 
Lehmann, Fraulein, 131 
Lehmann, Rudolf, 299 
Leighton, Lord, 150, 299 
Lenau, 196 



328 



INDEX 



Leonard and Co., 128 

Leslie, 298 

Levi, 268 

Lind-Goldschmidt, 98 

Lindsay, Sir Coutts, 299 

Lippi, 267 

Liszt, Eduard, 202 

Liszt, 23, 26, 37, 77, 82, 88, loi, 
107, 131, 137, 144, 145, 148, 
151-166, 168-174, 1761 177. ^79" 
183, 185, 188-191, 193, 195-199, 
201-204, 207, 209-216, 218, 221, 
229, 234-243, 245, 247-249,251, 
254-258, 260, 261, 263-265, 267- 
272, 275-293, 295-297, 299-306, 
308, 311, 312, 314, 315, 319- 
323 

Littleton, 288, 306 

Littleton, Alfred, 293, 309 

Lloyd, 299 

Lortzing, 48 

Lucas, 50 

Ludwig, King, 246, 247, 275 

Lunn, Rev. J. R., 105 

Luther, 37 

Macbean, 156, 157 

Macfarren, Sir George, 298, 313 

Mackenzie, Sir A. C, 298, 316, 

317 
Maglioni, 150 
Malten, 270 
Manns, 190, 191, 205, 207, 208, 

213, 254, 255, 257, 262, 298, 

322, 323 
Marchesi, 148 
Mario, 11 

Marks, Stacey, 299 
Martineau, Rev. iSr. James, 299 
Martineau, David, 7 
Martineau, Russell, 6, 12 
Materna, Mme., 252, 268, 270 
Mathews, James, 128 
Matthews, Mr. and Mrs., 150, 

202 
Mayer, A., 55 
Mayer, Carl, 76, 87 
Mehlig, 199 
Mellon, 2, 9, 10, 13, 14, 20, 38- 

40, 56, 185, 194 



Mendelssohn, 2, 3, 8, 11, 18, 20, 
22, 24, 25, 33, 76, 83, 101-103, 
no, 131, 132, 135, 136, 140, 
151, 160, 162, ■ 163, 170, 1^2, 
180, 181, 193, 197, 231, 239 

Mendelssohn, Miss, 135, 136 

Menter, 276 

Metastasio, 104, 128 

Meyerbeer, 12, 102 

Millais, Sir John, 299 

Molique, 8, 55 

Moore, 104, 128 

Morant, Lady Henrietta, 127 

Morley, 77, 78 

Moscheles, 96, 132-136 

Moscheles, Felix, 299 

Mozart, 16, 24, 33-36, 120, 139, 
141, 160, 166, 173, 239 

Murska, 201 

Munkaczy, 288, 303 

Munkaczy, Mme., 295 

Newmarch, 270 
Niemann, 252 
Novello, 279, 298 

O'Leary, 55 
OUivier, 158 
Orczy, Baron, 293 
Osborn, Miss, 299 
Osgood, Mrs., 241-243, 255 
Overweg, 76 

Pachmann, V. de, 283, 298 

Paget, Sir James, 299 

Papini, 175, 176 

Paque, 54 

Parker, 22 

Parry, Sir Hubert, 298 

Pauer, 99 

Peiniger, 283 

Perkins, 22, 156 

Piatti, 99, 260 

Piccolomini, 92 

Pinelli, 163, 165, 166, 170, 172, 

174 
Pinner, 237, 247 
Plaidy, 87, 132, 138 
Polko, Frau, 76 
Praeger, 200 



INDEX 



329 



Pratten, 10, 14, 126, 185 
Price, 133, 136, 159, 180 
Procter, Miss, 319 
Priickner, 308 
Prudent, 151 

Raff, 199, 233 

Ramacciotti, 160, 164-167, 171, 

172 
Raphael, 312 
Ravnkilde, 178 
Reichmann, 268, 270 
Reinecke, 142 
Reisenauer, 308 
Reissiger, 48 
Ricci, 51, 92, 96 
Ricci, Signora, 127 
Richter, Dr., 84, 236, 261, 263, 

264, 275, 308 
Rietz, 85 

Rimsky-Korsakov, 26 
Ritter, 136, 157, 160, 164 - 166, 

267, 268 
Ronconi, 92 
Rosa, 141, 144, 298 
Rossi, 52 
Rossini, 34, 35, 38, 42, 96, 141, 

167 
Rubinstein, 26, 77, 99, 164, 199, 

212, 214, 226, 230, 301, 308 
Rubinstein, Nicholas, 197 
Russell, Dr., 7 
Russell, George, loi 

Saint-Saens, Dr., 249, 301 
Sambourne, 299 
Santley, 201 
Sarasate, P. de, 287 
Sartiges, Comte de, 176 
Scaria, 268, 270 
Scharwenka, 197 
Scheffsky, Fraulein, 252 
Schiller, 300 
Schleinitz, 133, 136 
Schlosser, 232 
Schneider, 35 
Schopenhauer, 231 
Schroeder-Devrient, 136 
Schubert, 162. 166, 171, 172, 174, 
igo, 191, 216, 292, 322 



Schuberth, 261 
Schulhoff, 16, 73, 163 
Schumann, 26, 81, 82, 84, 160, 
186, 187, 199, 203, 209, 213, 

239 
Schumann, Mme., 131, 187 
Schunck, 135, 136 
Schwann, 20, 22 
Scott, Addyes, 7, 60-62, 68 
Scott, Lord and Lady Walter, 

299 
Scribe, 12 
Seeburg, 133 
Seidl, 275 

Semon, Sir Felix, 299 
Sgambati, 148, 160-162, 165-167, 

170, 171, 173, 174, 177, 178, 

182, 183, 189, 190, 201, 212 
Shakespeare, 34, 124, 211, 227 
Shakespeare, W., 283, 300, 314 
Siehr, 270 
Silas, 16 
Siloti, 308 

Simpson, 9, 14, 20, 39, 40 
Smart, 33 
Smetana, 6 
Sontag, 12, 96 
Spohr, 33, 139 
Sivori, 8 
Stabbach, 53 
Stanford, Professor, 298 
Stassoff, 270 
Stavenhagen, 291, 308 
Steggall, Dr., 298 
Stein, 166, 181, 202 
Steinway, 248, 232 
Stimpson, 4, 21, loi, 102, 128 
Stirling, Mme., 299 
Stockhausen, 135, 136, 241 
Strauss, 22, 36, 271 
Strutt, Miss, 28 
Sullivan, Sir A. S., 132, 135-138, 

140, 144, 298 

Tadema, Sir L. Alma, 299 
Tamburini, 11 
Taplin, 20, 22 
Tardieu, Mme., 307 
Tartini, 174 
Tausig, 271 



33° 



INDEX 



Taylor, Franklin, 64, 138, 142, 

144 
Taylor, Sedley, 299 
Teleki, Count, 260 
Terry, Miss Ellen, 291, 293, 

295 
Thalberg, 75, 151, 214 
Thode, 303 
Tiberini, 155 
Tichatschek, 138 
Tietjens, 241 
Tschaikovsky, 26 

Uhland, 261 
Unger, 252 
Ungher-Sabatier, 93, 96, 150 

Verdi, 48, gi 

Vere de Vere, Sir, 127 

Vieuxtemps, 139 

Vogel, 76 

Vogl, 252 

Volkmann, Robert, 203 

Wagner, 26, 29, 36, 37, 82, 83, 
148, 188, 191, 196-201, 2og, 
210, 212-217, 221, 240, 241, 
243-251, 256-258, 266-269, 
272-275. 313-315 



Wagner, Frau Cosima, 248, 249, 

251 
Wagner, Johanna, 29, 37, 120, 

138, 252 
Wagner, Siegfried, 272 
Wales, Prince and Princess of, 

290 
Wallace, 27 
Weber, 211, 235, 236, 238, 278, 

279, 294, 322, 323 
Weckerlin, Fraulein, 252 
Weingartner, 308 
Welch, 208 
Whinery, 208 
White, Rev. Henry, 299 
White, Kirke, 102 
Wiener, 208 
Wieniawski, 133, 166 
Wilhelmj, 132, 251 
Williams, Miss Anna, 257, 299 
Winch, 300 
Winkelmann, 268, 270 
Wolzogen, Freiherr Hans von, 

269 
Woodward, Rev., 157 
Woolgar, Miss, 39 
Wiilluer, 229 

Zimmermann, Miss Agnes, 299 



THE END 



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